Select a category:

App Retargeting: How it Works and Why You Need It


The strategy for apps largely remains dependent on one thing: getting people to actually use them. There are high abandonment rates for app users after initial installs and getting users to come back is a huge challenge.

App retargeting can help. By targeting people who have downloaded your app across social media channels and prompting them to get engaged again, you can ensure that usage remains steady. For retailers and brands, apps can become a crucial cornerstone for conversion.

In the United States, 71% of mobile sales happen in-app, and advertisers with a shopping app generate 68% of transactions on mobile devices.

App users typically browse more products, add more to their shopping baskets, and convert at a higher rate. Not only that, the App product page view-to-buyer conversion rate is 3x that of mobile users. So app retargeting can lead to more opportunities to connect with your shoppers, as well as higher conversions.

But let’s back up and explore exactly why app retargeting is so important:


The Challenges of App Retargeting

Mobile marketers invest a lot of time and money in their apps. Big budgets are often set aside to drive app downloads, too, because you know that apps can attract and build relationships with high-value users.

However, app usage frequently dwindles after the install. In one report, Localytics found that around 1 in 4 people abandon apps after one use.

Without a strategy to actively engage your app downloaders, installed base usage can quickly decrease. Apps that fail to engage users and sit unused are eventually deleted, and the opportunity to engage high value users is lost. The churn of unengaged users happens rapidly after app install, sometimes with just about one in ten users remaining after seven days.

Criteo App Advertising

Your app can be amazing. But if your users forget about it, all of that effort goes to waste.

This is where app advertising technology can really help.


How App Retargeting Works

Imagine a shopper named Kim is searching for a double room for two adults, for one night in San Francisco.

As Kim browses your app, intent data is captured at each event level. Kim finishes browsing, but gets distracted and starts playing a gaming app. If the gaming app is part of your retargeting partner’s publisher network, the retargeting process continues in real-time.

Kim’s purchasing intent is calculated, the impression is purchased, product recommendation determined and design of the ad occurs, all in real-time. The ad is displayed reflecting hotels that Kim viewed, plus new discoveries based on items such as availability and pricing.

Kim clicks on the ad and is deep-linked back into your app to complete the booking.

Criteo App Advertising: Powered by Network and Scale

Source: Criteo study comparing the behavior of exposed and non-exposed users to App Advertising on a representative sample of 14m app users.

App Advertising through Criteo Dynamic Retargeting has been built to reengage your app audience and keep you connected to your most valuable users.

Criteo App Advertising solution is unique as it leverages the power of Criteo Dynamic Retargeting, a proven engine which wins over 90% of all A/B test competitive head-to-head tests. Criteo App Advertising offers:

  • A complete understanding of purchase intent.

    Criteo’s Identity Graph allows us to have a 360-degree understanding of a shopper’s real-time browsing behavior across devices, browsers, and 550,000 apps. This means we can serve ads in those additional mobile environments and bring them back to the app to complete their purchase. Over 40% of all sales come from users whom we can uniquely and anonymously identify on 2+ devices.

  • Better, more enticing product recommendations.

    We help you attract customers with the most relevant products and offers from across your catalogue, not only on previously-browsed products but also new discoveries. With Criteo Dynamic Retargeting, more than 28% of sales transactions occur as a result of clients discovering new products.

  • Uncompromised ad performance.

    Criteo App Advertising leverages the power of Criteo Dynamic Retargeting and Kinetic Design to deliver brand-inspired, personalized dynamic ads, configured in real time. Each ad is tailored with a combination of visual elements to engage each shopper, and scales seamlessly across all ad sizes.

Here are three examples showcasing the powerful benefits of App Advertising:


App Advertising Success Stories


CheapOair is one of the most popular travel websites and is consistently ranked among the top five online travel agencies by Experian Hitwise.


To sustain its leading position in the highly competitive discounted travel segment, the company remains focused on staying in front of travel buyers during critical moments throughout the purchase process. Increasingly, this requires reaching and converting consumers in-app on their mobile devices.


By taking full advantage of App Advertising leveraging Criteo Dynamic Retargeting capabilities and reach, CheapOair has continually improved both the efficiency and scale of its mobile performance marketing efforts.


Within 2 months of implementing App Advertising, CheapOair saw the following results for the iPhone platform:

Criteo Success Story App retargeting


La Moda

With nearly 2M active customers, Lamoda is the largest Russian online fashion retailer, working with about 1000 brands.


Lamoda found that users who downloaded the app would often become inactive after a few months or weeks. The company needed a way to revive and sustain app use among these high-value customers to improve ROI from technology investments.


Using the industry-leading in-app performance marketing technology, Criteo enabled Lamoda to re-engage lapsed users who had downloaded the Lamoda mobile app with highly relevant, customized messages based on past browsing behaviors. Ads were served across a variety of relevant mobile apps to rekindle interest in Lamoda products.


Lamoda was able to reactivate and drive conversions from valuable app users, reaching buyers untapped by other advertising channels. Its in-app campaigns generate significant conversion volumes and high basket values.

Criteo App Advertising Success Story



Trendyol is the leading online fashion retailer in Turkey, with more than 4M unique visitors monthly, according to ComScore. The brand was among the first in market to develop a mobile-centric strategy focused on providing the best possible user experience through a mobile app.


Trendyol was looking for a way to maintain an outstanding user experience for app users while maximizing in-app conversions and revenue. Criteo App Advertising performance ads provided the ideal solution – serving personalized recommendations and relevant ads to some of Trendyol’s most valuable customers.


Criteo’s mobile in-app ads combine real-time customer behavior data with Trendyol‘s own product catalog and creative content. Trendyol’s in-app campaigns serve fully personalized, dynamic banners to users in real-time, with each ad optimized to maximize conversions within Trendyol‘s ROAS goals.


Mobile transactions grew from 10% to 24%

Criteo App Advertising Success Story


App users are some of the most valuable shoppers a brand can have, but only if they keep coming back to use your app. With app retargeting, you can drive engagement across the entire app usage lifecycle. Whether it’s re-engaging inactive users or driving repeat sales from your best shoppers, app retargeting helps you encourage shoppers to return to your app and ultimately convert them into buyers.

Smart Marketer's Guide to Retargeting

Originally from Orange County, CA, Betty moved to New York in 2013 for a two-year creative writing program and never left. When not writing for Criteo Insights she can be found at a handful of $1 Oyster Happy Hours in Manhattan. She loves dogs but doesn’t have one.

We use Cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing your navigation, you accept the placement and use of Cookies. To learn more about Cookies or opt-out from these services please see our privacy policy more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.