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New Google Analytics Feature Helps Merchants Recapture Lost Sales

Within Google’s site analytics platform resides plenty of potential for online retailers to create remarketing lists, as they seek to connect again with website visitors. A new feature introduced by Google Analytics offers to make this a less daunting prospect for marketers who use this tool for list building.

The new Smart Lists feature is presented as an option within the Google Analytics’ remarketing interface. One just needs to select the Smart List choice to allow Google to manage that list. These lists can be used to remarket one’s selling message to particular site visitors.

Not sure what remarketing is all about? Google explains the term on this help page:

“Remarketing is a feature that lets you reach people who have previously visited your site, and show them relevant ads across the web or when they search on Google. When people leave your site without buying anything, for example, remarketing helps you connect with these potential customers again. You can even show them a tailored message or offer that will encourage them to return to your site and complete a purchase.”

Remarketing Lists
The most basic way to remarket is to reach all the visitors to your website. This means that anyone who visits your website can see your remarketing ads. To showcase and display ads for different product categories, you can create a remarketing list for each product category. Simply create remarketing lists using a URL that contains the “categoryname.”

Google explains why you might wish to create a remarketing list using the following example:

“Jane owns an online clothing store and would like to show remarketing ads to customers shopping for women’s apparel that are different from the ads she wants to show to customers shopping for men’s apparel. She creates an ad that appears for customers who browsed her “Women’s Apparel” page, as well as a different ad for customers that browsed the “Men’s Apparel” page.”

Remarketing presents online sellers with a way to possibly recapture a lost prospect or sale when someone decides not to continue with a conversion action. Generally this means someone abandoned a shopping cart at some point during a visit. By following up with additional marketing, or remarketing, to that shopper, it’s possible a site may end up getting that sale later.

Considering the volume of data a site can collect day after day while it’s being visited regularly, the management of list creation could present a marketer with too many choices. That may mean running the risk of missing what could be better prospects for a given list while making one.

Google suggests they can probably do this better and do so in an automated fashion. “Smart Lists are built using machine learning across the millions of Google Analytics websites which have opted in to share anonymized conversion data, using dozens of signals like visit duration, page depth, location, device, referrer, and browser to predict which of your users are most likely to convert during a later visit,” the blog noted.

Google Analytics has come a long way – it can help merchants determine the path buyers took before making their purchases. As Google says on its website, “An ad click here, a page view there, a video watched on a tablet before bed… but which one clinched the sale? Google Analytics has the latest in full-credit measurement, so you see all the stops people take on the road to action. The result: a measurable way to improve campaigns and reach new audiences as they go through their days.”

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David A Utter
David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.