Top 3 Mobile Retargeting Tips for Retailers

Updated on September 26, 2023

Did you know that, according to eMarketer, only 11 percent of app users remain active seven days after install? Even more significant – what happens to the remaining 89 percent? Based on these numbers alone, it’s critical retailers implement not just a user acquisition (UA) campaign but a smart retention strategy, too. A great way to get started is with retargeting. When used effectively, retargeting can significantly increase engagement, sales, and brand awareness.

By leveraging both types of campaigns (UA and retention), you can continually move users from install to purchase. Retargeting is a great way to combat dormancy as well. If your objective is driving app downloads and usage, investing in re-engagement and retention is a smart approach.

So, what does effective retargeting entail? We recently partnered with our friends at Adjust to bring you these top three mobile tips:

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1. Unify the path to conversion

Retail apps that have a unified and consistent experience across app and web typically see higher conversion rates. Users are accustomed to browsing products on their desktop or mobile web, so why not mirror the app experience?

Start off simple – if someone has gone to the effort of downloading your app, you have their attention. So, make the UI simple and easy to navigate. Show them what they would expect to see on a homepage, make the menu clear and visible, and if you have a carousel showcasing products or directions, ensure it doesn’t move too fast.

Deeper within the app, product placement and user flow are critical. Simplify the product browsing experience within the app, and allow users to easily view product details by implementing image zoom.

Retail apps need to think very seriously about the design of the shopping cart. For example, all retail apps should have a save feature that allows consumers to re-access the products of interest at a later time. This is also critical for increasing ROI for retargeting campaigns, which will deep link users into the app to the cart page directly (more on this in the deep link section of this post).

And make it easy for a user to convert. Similar to a website, make sure the call to action/conversion path is clear and well-marked. Think about what level of information is required to convert. Are there certain fields you could remove or ask at a later time? Can you disable auto-correct in input fields during the conversion process, particularly if you are asking for personal information? All these things unify the app and web experience, and ultimately increase conversions.

According to Criteo’s State of Mobile Commerce report, apps deliver 2x the new user retention rate than mobile web, and higher retention means a better chance at creating lifetime users. So while retailers need to have both mobile web and app strategies, apps generally drive better performance.

2. Deliver highly engaging creative at every step

Marketers should not only show the consumer previously viewed products, but also other items that may be of value to the consumer. Collecting data across all devices, channels, and platforms is important, and marketers should work with vendors who can collect, analyze and action upon that data in real-time. This allows for smart predictive creatives that show products based on the users’ previous behavior, and of others who have bought similar products.

Dynamic ads bring personalization to the retailers product catalog, increasing likelihood of users to click and convert. It’s important that marketers understand how a vendor determines which products are shown, and should focus on finding a partner who utilizes real-time data to optimize the creative on a user level. Every consumer is different, and a product that appeals to one shopper might not to the next, so rule-based product recommendations should be avoided.

Additionally, marketers should constantly test new tactics while displaying items. For example, see how strikethrough pricing, discounts, and star rating can effect performance. These small changes can have a big impact on ROI, so being open to different types of creatives and calls-to-action can deliver value.

3. Deep link users to relevant products

Deep linking allows marketers to bring consumers to specific content within the app – a great way to make your retargeting campaigns most effective.

Deferred deep links direct users to content even if the app isn’t installed at the time of click. The link will first redirect to the Apple or Google Play Store to download the app, and then take the user to the specific “deferred” content immediately after first launch.

Why is deep linking important for retailers? It provides a seamless user experience, and significantly increases conversion rates. Deep links always give users the most integrated mobile experience, even if the app isn’t installed. As a simple use case, if a user is browsing the web and sees an ad for a product they had previously viewed, when they click the ad, the app will open and the product will be showcased on the opening screen. They’ll simply need to add the item to their cart and checkout, rather than having to browse the app to find the specific product they’re looking to buy.

How are Universal Links related? Universal Links are now the only linking standard fully supported by iOS 9 or later. When marketers support Universal Links, iOS9+ users click a banner ad and get seamlessly redirected to the installed app, without having to navigate from a web browser. Without Universal Links enabled, campaign performance, user experience and landing rates are negatively impacted. Specifically, if an advertiser doesn’t have Universal Links enabled, a user with the app installed receives a dialog box giving them two options – Open or Cancel. If the user selects Cancel, the app doesn’t open and the conversion is lost.

Unifying app and web, implementing smart dynamic creatives, and utilizing deferred deep-linking are important factors in every retargeting campaign for retailers. Making the most out of the steps above can have a significant impact on ROI and help bring back users that are lost or dormant.

For more information, email us at, and learn about all the components of a smart retargeting strategy here.

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