7 Minutes Of Reading
May 15, 2024

Pixel vs. Cookie-Based Retargeting: What’s the Difference?


Retargeting is a powerful marketing technique. It enables businesses to reach out to potential customers who have already shown interest in their products or services. It allows you to target their ads to people who have visited their website, interacted with their social media pages, or subscribed to their email list.

There are two primary methods of retargeting:

  • Pixel-based
  • Cookie-based

In this article, we will take a closer look at both techniques and compare their advantages and disadvantages to choose which one is the best.

Introduction to Retargeting

Retargeting involves placing a tracking code on the website that captures users’ behavior data. The data such as pages visited, products viewed, and items added to the cart. The data is then used to serve targeted ads to the users on other websites or social media platforms. It will encourage customers to return to the original site and complete a desired action.

Retargeting has become an essential part of e-commerce marketing. The technique is especially useful for e-commerce businesses that have a long sales cycle or high-value products.

What is Pixel-Based Retargeting?

Pixel-based retargeting is a technique that involves placing a pixel on the user’s browser when they visit the business’s website. The pixel is a piece of code that tracks the user’s behavior on the website and allows the business to target them with ads related to their interests.

What is Cookie-Based Retargeting?

Cookie-based retargeting is a technique that involves placing a cookie on the user’s browser when they visit the business’s website. The cookie is a small text file that tracks the user’s behavior on the website and allows the business to target them with ads related to their interests.

The cookie-based technique is similar to pixel-based retargeting, but it has some limitations. For example, cookies can be deleted by the user, which means that the business may lose the ability to target them with ads. Also, cookies are browser-specific. It means that if a user switches to a different browser, the business will lose the ability to target them with ads.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Pixel-Based Retargeting

Advantages

  • It is highly effective because it allows businesses to target users who have demonstrated an interest in their products or services.
  • Pixel-based retargeting allows businesses to target users across multiple devices, which means that they can reach users on their desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

Disadvantages

  • It can be intrusive, as users may feel like they are being followed around the internet by ads related to products they have viewed.
  • Pixel-based retargeting relies on the user’s browser accepting cookies, which means that some users may not be targeted with ads.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cookie-Based Retargeting

Advantages

  • It is a cost-effective way to reach out to potential customers who have already shown an interest in a business’s products or services.
  • It allows businesses to target users across multiple devices, which means that they can reach users on their desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

Disadvantages

  • Cookies can be deleted by the user, which means that the business may lose the ability to target them with ads.
  • Cookies are browser-specific, which means that if a user switches to a different browser, the business will lose the ability to target them with ads.

Ecommerce-Specific Considerations for Retargeting

  • E-commerce businesses have unique considerations when it comes to retargeting. You need to ensure that your retargeting ads are relevant to the user’s interests. You can check this using data such as the products they have viewed or added to their cart.
  • E-commerce businesses need to ensure that their retargeting ads are displayed at the right time. For example, if a user has viewed a product but has not added it to their cart. The business may want to display a retargeting ad that offers a discount or free shipping to encourage them to complete the purchase.

Pixel Integration

Pixel integration and implementation are crucial for the success of pixel-based retargeting.

  • The business needs to ensure that the pixel is placed on the right pages of their website. For example, the pixel should be placed on the product pages, cart pages, and checkout pages.
  • The business needs to ensure that the pixel is working correctly. Use a pixel testing tool or check the pixel’s firing status in the analytics platform.

If you want to keep the managing pixel hassle away, try Conversios. You just need to enter the pixel ID of the respective platform for which you want to do pixel integration.

Cookie-Based Implementation

Cookie-based retargeting implementation is also crucial for the success of this technique.

  • You need to ensure that the cookie is placed on the right pages of their website.
  • You need to ensure that the cookie is working correctly. Use a cookie testing tool or check the cookie’s firing status in the analytics platform to check the functionality.

Successful Case Studies of Pixel-Based Retargeting

There are few successful case studies of businesses that have used pixel-based retargeting. The first one is a fashion retailer that used pixel-based retargeting to retarget users. “The retargeting campaign resulted in a 50% increase in conversions.”

An online grocery store that used pixel-based retargeting. They used it to target users who had viewed specific product categories but had not made a purchase. “The retargeting campaign resulted in a 30% increase in conversions.”

Successful Case Studies of Cookie-Based Retargeting

Here are a few successful case studies of businesses that have used cookie-based retargeting. One example is a travel website that used cookie-based retargeting to target users who had searched for flights but had not made a booking. “The retargeting campaign resulted in a 40% increase in bookings.”

Another example is a home decor retailer. It used cookie-based retargeting to target users who had viewed specific product categories but had not made a purchase. “The retargeting campaign resulted in a 25% increase in conversions.”

Which Technique is Better for Your Business?

If you go by our suggestion, pixel-based retargeting is the best option. Why? Because you don’t have to rely on cookies to retarget. In cookies, there will be a risk that your cookie will be blocked. It means you won’t get accurate data. For example, if the goal is to target users who added the product to the cart but haven’t completed the purchase- in such case Pixel is the reliable option.

Pixel-based retargeting can track users across devices. While cookie-based retargeting is limited to a single device. Also, pixel-based retargeting is GDPR compliant, as it does not require users’ consent to track their behavior. Whereas cookie-based retargeting requires user consent to store and use cookies.

The answer justifies the reason for choosing pixel-based retargeting over cookie-based retargeting.

Conclusion

Pixel-based and cookie-based retargeting is crucial for the success of these techniques. But retargeting through pixels has a slight competitive edge.

If you want to track your users or retarget them using Pixel, you should definitely go for Conversios pixel manager. Marketing pixels are there such as Facebook Pixel, Microsoft Ads pixel, Pinterest pixel, TikTok pixel, Twitter Pixel & Snapchat Pixel. Conversios tool enables the integration of all marketing pixels under one tool.

You would have thought that managing all pixels in one place will be difficult and requires more technical dependencies- but that’s not true. Conversios is a no-code tool. If you want to know more about the tool, explore the conversios website now.

If you come that far reading this, here we make things easier for you!

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Differences Between Pixel-Based And Cookie-Based Retargeting