omnichannel retargeting marketing

Using Omnichannel Retargeting to Turn Traffic Into Sales

Shopify stores of all sizes face a similar problem.

They spend most of their marketing budget on paid ads to get traffic to their store. But they get very little return for this spend in terms of sales. Most of the traffic they drive to their store doesn’t end up converting into a purchase. Sound familiar?

If it does, there are a few solutions you can try:

  • Improve your load speed: you may be losing customers because of slow loading pages, so try optimizing your images to improve your page speed.
  • Be more targeted with your ads: try using a layering system with your ads so you target a more focused niche of customers.
  • Create content to gain more organic traffic: start producing relevant, SEO optimised content so you can get more high-converting organic traffic to your store.

But the best solution to try (and one you can implement right now) is omnichannel retargeting. It sounds fancy, but this just means using channels like email, SMS and push notifications to engage your site visitors and encourage them to make a purchase.

How omnichannel marketing works

The term omnichannel is what makes this approach sound complicated. So here’s a quick explanation of what omnichannel means.

A marketing strategy can be called omnichannel if it:

  • uses more than one channel
  • connects and coordinates these different channels

So, sending an email newsletter is not omnichannel because it’s only one channel.

Sending an email with a discount, and then sending an SMS with a discount is also not omnichannel because the channels are not coordinated.

But sending an email with a discount, then following up with an SMS to any customers who didn’t open the email – now that’s omnichannel. It uses more than one channel, and, crucially, these channels are coordinated so there’s no spamming customers or wasted marketing budget.

omnichannel marketing retargeting

This is how omnichannel retargeting can work for abandoned cart recovery. First, the customer receives a push notification and email 30 minutes after abandoning their cart. Then if they still haven’t completed the purchase, they receive an SMS after 50 minutes.

The good news is that going omnichannel is super easy. All you need to do is add an omnichannel marketing app like Firepush to your Shopify store. Then you can launch campaigns or set up automations for SMS, email, and push notification, and the app will coordinate these campaigns for you. Simple.

Comparing channels – where do customers want to be reached?

The simple answer to this question is that the more channels you are on, the more chance you have of connecting with your customers. So adding more channels to your marketing mix is always a smart idea.

There is some general data on which channels are most effective at engaging with customers:

  • Open rates: SMS is the clear winner here. SMS messages enjoy a 98% open rate on average. Push notifications are second with 50%. Email comes third with just 22%.
  • Time to open: This is an important stat for flash sales or abandoned carts, where you want your customers to make quick decisions. Again, SMS performs best for this metric. On average, SMSs are opened within 3 minutes of them being received. By contrast, it takes a massive 384 minutes for a customer to open an email on average.
  • Click through rates: On average, email campaigns can achieve a click through rate of 7%. For push notifications, there is a 50% increase, with click through rate at over 10%. And for SMS the figure stands at 14%.

(Source: MarketingProfs)

This data provides some general guidelines as to where customers want to be reached.

However, the best approach is to understand your specific audience, and then find the channels that work best for them. Here are some tips you can try.

Tip 1: Think about generations

How old is your average customer? This can play a big role in your decision on which channels to use. For example, Gen X and boomers may be responsive to email, but Gen Z customers are more likely to respond to more mobile-friendly channels like push notifications.

Shopify Plus store Pura Vida Bracelets put together a $1.4 million omnichannel retargeting strategy by focusing on their different audiences.

“Pura Vida Bracelets speak to two different audiences – the teens and young adults who wear the product and the Moms who actually make the purchase. This means we need to use multiple marketing channels.”

Margaret Odisho, eCommerce Manager at Pura Vida Bracelets

By paying attention to who their audience is and which channels they are most likely to respond to, Pura Vida has been able to generate over $1.4 million in additional revenue through retargeting.

pura vida omnichannel retargeting

Pura Vida Bracelets has 2 distinct audiences, so using multiple channels helps it to engage its entire customer base.

Tip 2: Think about timing

How quickly do you want your audience to engage with your messaging? This is another key question to consider.

For example, perhaps your goal is to get more of your one-off customers to become regular buyers. In which case, your messaging needs to be regular and engaging, but you don’t need an instant response. Email newsletters could be a great way to keep you top of mind with your existing audience.

Or maybe you run lots of flash sales and stock clearances. In these cases, a fast response is essential. If you’re running a 24-hour flash sale, emails are probably not going to be effective – it could be hours or even days before your customers even see your email. An SMS campaign, with average open times of just 3 minutes, will work much better.

The takeaway on choosing a channel

Every channel has its benefits and weaknesses. And your specific audience will respond to different channels.

So it’s best to get a Shopify app that can handle multiple channels, then you can easily experiment with a mix of each until you find the perfect fit for your business goals and audience.

A simple omnichannel retargeting strategy you can implement today

So, we’ve understood what omnichannel is and compared some of the channels you can use. Now let’s get into a simple, step-by-step strategy for omnichannel retargeting that you can start using today.

Once you’ve installed a tool like Firepush to your Shopify store, there are 3 steps to your strategy that you can then follow:

  • Step 1: Abandoned cart messages
  • Step 2: Promotional campaigns
  • Step 3: Other automations

We’ll take a quick look at each one.

Step 1: Abandoned cart messages

It makes perfect sense to start with abandoned cart messages because you don’t need to have a big list of subscribers for this messaging to work.

And better still, in terms of conversion rate, this is the most effective message type you can use. Just take a look at this data from over 10 million SMSs sent.

cart recovery omnichannel marketing

Abandoned cart messages achieve a strong conversion rate and offer an excellent return on investment. 

And the best part is that these messages are automated. This means that all you have to do is set them up once, and then they run automatically after that. A customer agrees to receive pushes or adds their email or phone number at checkout. Then, if they leave your store with items in their cart that they haven’t purchased yet, they receive reminders or even discounts to complete the purchase.

sms marketing firepush web push cart recovery firepush

With abandoned cart messaging enabled, customers will receive messages like these encouraging them to complete the purchase.

Shopify Plus stores are successfully using omnichannel abandoned cart messages to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional revenue.

Step 2: Promotional messages

While abandoned cart messages offer the best conversion rates, data shows that on average they will only account for 29% of total revenue generated from retargeting.

Why is this?

The answer is simple. Only a small proportion of your customers will add an item to their cart and then abandon them. For most of your audience, this type of message is not going to generate any sales.

Instead, you’re going to need promotional messages. Here’s a quick breakdown of some key data on how successful promotional messages are on average:

  • On average, promotional messages account for 67% of all revenue generated from retargeting.
  • Average order value (the typical amount a shopper spends after click through on a promotional message) is $63, which is the 2nd highest of any retargeting message type.
  • The average conversion rate is 0.53% for promotional messages.
  • Return on investment averages x13, which means you earn $1.30 in revenue for every $1 spent.
    (Source: Firepush)

So, once you have enough subscribers (roughly 1 month after you set up Firepush on your page), you can start sending out promotional messages to your subscribers. You could announce new products, offer discounts or draw attention to your most popular products.

firepush marketing automations

Promotional messages like these will, on average, be your biggest revenue generator from retargeting.

Step 3: Other automations

So your abandoned carts will get you up and running. Then your promo messages will bring in the big revenue. The final touch is to add other automations for specific actions and customer needs.

Here are 3 types of automations you can set up for your Shopify store.

Automation 1: Welcome messages for new subscribers

These are automated messages sent to any new subscribers and often include a discount to encourage that first sale. These messages have an average return on investment of X39, which means stores generate almost $4 in revenue for every $1 they spend on these messages.

welcome automation shopify

Pura Vida Bracelets’ welcome messages direct shoppers straight to their collection.

Automation 2: Win back customer messages

Want to turn your customers from one-off shoppers into return customers. Then these messages are for you. They are triggered when a customer has been inactive for a specified period of time, and usually contain a discount or offer on their next purchase. These messages have the best average order value (AOV) of any retargeting message, with shoppers spending $72 on average after clicking through these messages.


Win back customer messages are a great way to remind customers of your store and drive additional sales

Automation 3: Back in stock messages

Managing your inventory can be tough, especially if you’re dropshipping. And there’s nothing worse than losing a sale because you don’t have stock at present. These messages can help rescue these sales by automatically informing customers when the item they want is back in stock.


Tell your customers when their favorite products are available again with Back in Stock messages.

Using retargeting for Black Friday and seasonal sales

So, you’ve got your retargeting strategy all set up and are bringing in stacks of additional revenue. The final piece of the puzzle is to think about using retargeting during Black Friday and other seasonal sales periods.

So let’s take a quick look at some points about timing and frequency of your messages during these periods.

Build your subscribers list early in preparation for Black Friday

Ad prices sky-rocket over the Black Friday period. So a smart strategy is to do your advertising in September and October, and use your ads to get people to subscribe for your retargeting channels.

Then when you get to Black Friday, instead of burning cash on ads you use your retargeting channels to promote your offers to shoppers you know are already interested.

When are shoppers active over these periods

Data from over 3,000 Shopify stores shows that, while the largest number of customers make a purchase on the same day that they visit a store, almost 50% of them take much longer to convert – from 2 to 30 days.


(Source: Firepush)

This means you need to start engaging your audience a week or two before you launch your sale, so that they have already had a chance to consider your product.

And don’t forget to adjust your message timing on the different days of the Black Friday weekend. On Black Friday, shopper activity peaks at around midday. On Cyber Monday, activity builds up throughout the day and peaks at about 8.30pm.

Order traffic

(Source: Shopify)

Which channels work best over these periods?

All channels are going to be effective over the Black Friday weekend, but Firepush data from over 3,000 stores shows that SMS has the biggest impact. As SMS is a more expensive channel than email or push notifications, you don’t want to over use it. But a few well-timed SMSs over the weekend will have a big impact.


(Source: Firepush)

As the data above shows, abandoned cart messages are also very effective. The only point to consider here is the timing of your flow of 3 abandoned cart messages.


(Source: Firepush)

The data shows that sending the first message either 30 minutes or 50 minutes after the cart is abandoned works best. Then follow up with a second message 8 hours later. And finish with a final message 23 hours after the cart was abandoned.

These insights should help to make your retargeting efforts super effective over the holiday season. If you need a more in-depth approach, check out this detailed strategy for retargeting over the Black Friday period.

The Takeaways: Why Omnichannel matters

Turning your traffic into actual revenue is essential if your Shopify store is going to survive and thrive.

And omnichannel retargeting is a highly effective way to do this. Best of all, it can make an impact straight away, but also bring in revenue consistently over the long term.

This article has taken you through a strategy for adding omnichannel retargeting to your store, and also shared some tips on using retargeting over the Black Friday period. So, the next step is to install an omnichannel retargeting app on your Shopify store and get started.

This post was written and contributed to our blog by our partners, Firepush. To know more about them, please visit their website here

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