eCommerce in a cookieless environment.
Tracking cookies are becoming worthless as Chrome and IOS are basically not populating them nor handling them in their browsers. This has a dramatic effect advertisers and platforms like facebook who rely on pixel advertising to feed back targeting and customer advertising and tracking. Google and Apple say this is a privacy thing for customers and that it is protecting them.
With IOS 14 onwards its almost impossible to do funnel tracking, most users are using VPN’s to get by the restrictions of country specific sites – this leads to incomplete data from shoppers back to ecommerce stores. Its this very data that makes it more efficient to advertise to existing customers. This is the data that Apple and Google Chrome are stopping. Interestingly this is not being driven by some GDPR compliance but rather these platforms stopping the leaking of valuable customer information out from their systems to other vendors for free. Tracking a visitor across the web using cookies is no longer allowed under GDPR but its now no longer facilitated by browser providers too. Hence the reason there are manditory cookie permission dialogues on most sites to prevent customers being tracked against their will.
I would argue that these cookie permission dialogues are not read by most customers and they simply click on them so as to continue onto the site to shop. Customers see it mostly as an annoyance . On investigation of a sample of websites – 90% cookie compliance dialogues are not compliant at all and are simply click offs. Platforms offer these free addons and they are worthless as they are cosmetic only with no functionality. We would argue that these free addon’s have iornically been found to be adding in more tracking to the site with no indication to the site owner or visitor that this is happening.
So its a dilema. Place a fully compliant cookie dialogue and kill off sales or do a non compliant one and save some sales but run the risk of a fine.
Its all about the value of first party data and the insight this gives marketeers. This is data that is collected from logged in gmail , youtube accounts. Apple and Google realize the value of this data and they are now plugging up this leak to other vendors. Naturally other browser vendors are not too happy about this as its setting a standard for them that they don’t want. Firefox – Opera and other browsers see it as a cynical privacy fix.
Apple and Google Are Killing the (Ad) Cookie. Here’s Why : Source ( Bloomberg )
This means that pixel style tracking and advertising will soon to be dead and what is left is getting more inaccurate.
This offers 4 challenges to ecommerce site owners.
- It makes SEO more important.
- It makes advertising more difficult to target.
- It makes your existing customer data more important than ever before. Holding onto this information is more important than ever.
- Your Shopping Experience has to be tip top so as to reduce the abandoned cart rates.
Abandoned cart advertising is almost but dead. It cannot be done with out consumers explicit permission.
Browsers like Chrome and Safari are cutting out cookie storage as its providing information back to site owners that they can use to leverage more targeted advertising to users. This has lead to the rise of customer review sites who are not collecting reviews but are collecting consumer spending information from merchants and charging them for the “pleasure”. Its expensive to collect and gather this information because it is valuable. This move by Google and Apple has made data collecting services more important, powerful and more valuable.
Idea : Merchants need to club together and make companies like trustpilot pay for this information.
If you have customer data already you can use this to market them in a more targeted way within the confines of GDPR. be extra careful not to leak this information to 3rd party services who are only interested in collecting and reselling this information to other eCommerce operators. See our article on protecting your business intelligence and ecommerce customer data.
The more targeted the audience the better the ROI on advertising and a lower Cost Per Acquistion per customer. This is why review companies are desperate and sell hard to get site owners to sign up to their services.
“Payment Providers are now valuable sources of customer information. ”
Payment providers hold the defacto source of truth across all ecommerce. They know the date – time – identity and the products each shopper buys. The more recent the shopper information the more valuable. The brag among information providers will be on how recent their information is and this usually determines the price. Old information is a vague indicator of what may happen – but recent information shows you trends growing in real time and allows ecommerce companies to adapt to the market rapidly so as to get the best price and not be left with stock that will not sell because the trend has passed.
Klarna is an example of a payment provider now moving into becoming a product agrigator too. They have launched a market place listing where you can list product and ship it – and Klarna take the payment. This is a real threat to the likes the giant market places where the cost of setting up a market place is becoming affordable and therefore the space is becoming fragmented. Klarna can do this as they are handling the payment and in a way are looking to run the airbnb model where they sell product but have no stock and dont ship it !
So how did this come about. The cookieless environment has made ecommerce information more valuable as before this was residing in the cookie. Thats now gone !