The moment you start looking for a specific product, you may see it appear repeatedly while browsing other sites. For instance, you keep getting reminded of the time you looked at some new flip flops for your upcoming holiday. Those flip flops just keep appearing in ads no matter where I go on the internet.

I recently visited a client’s office and logged on to their wifi with my own laptop. Cue red faces all round when ads for a certain sex toy appeared on my screen. We laughed it off while I tried to explain that those ads were not relevant to my previous searches – but theirs.

Of course, they denied all knowledge.

This all boils down to cookies and the tracking that allows websites to look at what you are viewing. This is done from your Internet Protocol (IP) address. Companies pay the likes of Google to re-market products you have looked at on their website, which can be a really useful tool to generate sales.

To some users, it can become irritating. Right now my LinkedIn is showing adverts for office furniture I looked at a couple of weeks ago. There are options to only show the product to you for either a date or quantity of display times

My other half has been really conscious of looking for presents online for my birthday, worrying that I may get a sniff of what it may be.

Re-marketing only really works for ecommerce websites, I don’t recommend them being used for service based products. There are options to only show the product to you for either a date range or quantity of display times. Which is less likely to annoy the prospective new customer, negative experiences will put the user off coming back to your site.

A little tip for less advert browsing is to use ‘private’ or ‘incognito’ mode on your web browser that won’t allow cookies to retain the information it needs when you re open your browser next time.