Google AdWords Remarketing is an online marketing method that allows you to show ads to people who have already visited your website
. You and Google control who sees the ads by secretly tagging every visitor to your website, then choosing what ad to show to them around the internet.
I always like to refer to AdWord Remarketing as a separate type of online marketing, but it's simply a small part of Google AdWords (not AdWords Express). Everyone's first experience with AdWords is usually limited to creating text ads because they make them easy to set up. In reality, you have many options for other ad types, including product listing ads, ads for smartphone apps, image ads, and even ads for not-so-smart phones (aka feature phones). It's more difficult to set up remarketing ads because you usually need to do a little bit of creative thinking and then create image ads in PhotoShop.
Remarketing doesn't use text ads, it only uses image ads and advanced ad types that include animations. There's a natural barrier to entry when creating these fancy ad types because many business owners don't know how to use PhotoShop, nor do they have the time to use it.
Google only shows product and text ads in search results; all the other ad types appear on other websites throughout the internet. Google refers to those other websites as the "Display Network," which is made up of millions of different websites including YouTube, Blogger, Gmail, CNN, The Weather Channel, local community sites, and many random topic forum websites. Each of these sites can fit different size image ads, and many are much larger than a standard text ad.
During your remarketing setup, you can choose which types of websites to have your ad appear on. You select the websites by their topic or theme; in your case, you might want to select something related to your target audience. Google Analytics has some insights into what your target audience likes, and you can also use Facebook Audience Insights
to find out some secrets about your target audience.
Setting up remarketing isn't initially easy. You will need to create 9 different banner ads and each of those might represent several hours of work by your graphic artist. I also don't recommend that a novice AdWords user attempt the setup, it's better to leave this job to an agency.
I've explained all this because I wanted to set the stage for a rather enlightening topic, perhaps one that you might find very disturbing. I know the above stuff was boring, so here's when you need to listen up.
Your jewelry vendors have the power to steal customers from you.
That was important, so let me say it again... Your jewelry manufacturers and designers can take customers away from you, and you will never even know it. What's worse is that you are giving them permission to do it.
The retail jewelry industry is taking a beating as the internet and the digital age matures. Anyone can create a jewelry e-commerce website. Small jewelry designers and larger e-tailers have successfully done it, and they are swiping in-store buyers away from retailers. We're in a new age of consumers who want to shop online now; this is just how it is. Accept it.
Can the local retail jeweler combat the loss of their in-store foot traffic? They sure can! Just dive into the digital age with a nice online store and socially engaging online activity.
I realize that some jewelers have their reasons for not jumping on the digital age bandwagon. Based on my experience, I will say that more than 50% of independent retail jewelers have a poor or lackluster website and overall online presence. While other industries have far excelled with their embrace of the internet, the retail jewelry store segment of the jewelry industry has lagged far behind.
Unfortunately, this lagging has a domino effect on the rest of the industry. As retail sales drop, those vendors, manufacturers, and designers who support them are also experiencing business slowdowns.
The cost to build and maintain an online presence continues to rise as the internet becomes more and more complex and different websites and smartphone applications interweave with one another... It's a more complicated web than it ever was 20 years ago when "The Web" was first realized.
As a way for retail jewelers to save money while boosting their own sales, many manufacturers now supply product catalog widgets that can easily plug right into a website. Way back in my early days of the Daily Nuggets I wrote a series on the 5 different types of product catalogs you could have on a website. I detailed these vendor product catalog widgets
as Type 1. That 5-part series is still very valid and well worth the read even though I wrote it 3 years ago, so click here to read it
These website widgets provide manufacturer product exposure to potential customers, but I haven't seen any that include e-commerce yet. I would think that retail jewelers would balk at the idea of allowing manufacturers to sell through a website widget, therefore bypassing the retail sale.
Well, I recently discovered one jewelry manufacturer that wasn't selling through their website widget, but they are using Google AdWords Remarketing to tag all the visitors to the retail jewelry websites that use their product catalog widget. You have to follow through these screen shots to see how this plays out...
Here are screen shots of the website widget as it appeared on 2 completely different retail jeweler websites:
After browsing through those website widgets, the same people will start to see these types of banner ads:
(click to view larger)
Remarketing banner ads only appear on the Google "Display Network" of websites that allow those ads to appear in exchange for payment. I took the above banner screen shot from one of the font websites I was recently using.
I looked at the widget source code on both jewelry store websites and found it was identical as shown here:
(click to view larger)
Then when someone clicks on that banner ad they are brought to this page:
(click to view larger)
I'd like to point out that they do have the typical "Find a store" feature on this site, and that they do not sell direct. By all appearances they are not taking business away from the retail store, but rather driving traffic to it. Some local jewelers carrying this line of jewelry will benefit from the remarketing approach while others will completely lose.
Let's say that XYZ Jeweler is spending money for online advertising that will attract a lot of website visitors. Some of those visitors would get tagged by this remarketing setup. Some time in the future those people will see and click the banner on one of those Display Network sites, like the random font website in the screen shot above. Those people then have the option to find a different local retailer than XYZ Jeweler who originally paid for the online advertising.
Although the manufacturer always makes the sale, this is unfair to the retail jewelry store who paid for the online ad, or paid to build up their organic SEO. It was XYZ Jeweler who should get the sale because their marketing money lead to the customer tagging.
Okay, let me pull all these pieces together...
1. The internet is here to stay; get involved big time.
2. Vendors lose money as your sales drop.
3. As retailer sales decline, vendors need to protect themselves.
4. Vendors are using creative technology to help you, but they are also helping themselves.
5. Google AdWords Remarketing is a great service to get people back to your website.
6. But Remarketing is not easy to set up.
7. The above situation is an inventive use of Remarketing that other vendors will copy.
8. Some retail jewelers will gain random new customers from this while other will lose.
9. The above example is just one more reason I can add to my list of reasons why Type 1 Product Catalog
websites are not recommended.
Bottom line is that I really was fascinated to discover how AdWords Remarketing was being used, but I also knew it was sneaky for this vendor to add such a feature into the product catalog widget.
I think this remarketing feature could be improved a little so the retailer site who initially tagged them won't lose the final sale. The vendor would have to reprogram their site a little, but it could be done, and it would remove this sleazy feeling I have right now about them.