17-12-2021 | Digital Marketing

Cookies 101: Privacy & eCommerce

Cookies 101: Privacy & eCommerce

As cookies are in the news lately with Google Chrome phasing out third-party cookies in 2022, we thought it might be time to give you a lesson in what they do.

Welcome to our Cookies 101. Let’s start simple, shall we…

What is a Cookie?

A cookie is a little bit of data collected from you when you visit a website or make a search on Google. These cookies capture your personal information, such as your username, your password, products or services you’ve shown interest in and so much more.

Ultimately, as a customer they exist to improve your online experience by auto-filling information for you or showing personalised content based on your internet usage.

As an eCommerce brand, cookies help you to track people on their journey from brand awareness to conversion, showing you which searches, content, or ads are driving traffic and purchases, and which aren’t.

It all sounds pretty great, right? Well, it can be, but this information can also be collected without your knowledge and even occasionally hacked, giving complete strangers your personal information and login details.

It’s for this reason that third-party cookies are being phased out on Google Chrome next year.

Cookie Jargon Buster

HTTP cookies: Both first-party and third-party cookies are HTTP cookies, often just called “cookies.” This is the foundation of web browsing and help websites to create a more seamless journey across the web.

HTTP: This stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Without getting into the complicated details, this is the foundation of all data communication on the Internet.

First-party cookies: These cookies are the ones coming from websites you usually trust, speeding your user experience along with auto-fill logins, personalised product recommendations, and more.

Third-party cookies: These are the ones people don’t like as they allow advertisers to track your movements across the web without you knowing exactly where your data is being shared. Third-party cookies often come from third-party advertisements on websites you visit.

What does this mean for eCommerce brands and marketers?

Well, to put it simply, it means that it’s about to become much more difficult for eCommerce brands and marketers to follow their new, existing, and potential customers across the web unless they’re already on the brand’s website—remember, this is where the first-party cookies can be found, which aren’t going anywhere.

How can you prepare for cookies getting dunked?

Don’t worry, it is still possible to learn about your customers’ journeys from their initial search through to the final purchase, but this requires setting up Google Analytics.

This can be quite complicated as it takes you into a world of pixels, events, tags, and so much more, but if you get it right, you’ll be able to understand how and where your customers are finding your brand in a way that is permitted by Google (and not hated by your customers!).

We’ll take care of it for you.

We’re all about data-driven marketing that gets results, so we know our way around setting up Google Analytics to give your brand all the information it needs about your audience and their online behaviour.

Come to us before third-party cookies get dunked and we’ll make sure you don’t miss a moment of the data you need to create eCommerce experiences that excel.

Get in touch >

Headshot image of Beth

Beth Taggart

Brand Executive