You've probably heard about the cookie-free future by now. Third-party cookies, an essential feature of digital advertising and analytics, are being phased out of many of the world's most popular web browsers, including Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.
This blog focuses on the e-commerce consequences of these changes, and the particular steps firms should take right now to prepare for the end of third-party cookies in 2022.
What will be the impact on e-commerce?
E-commerce experts are being pushed to reconsider core concerns such as ad targeting, measurement, and cross-channel attribution, which will become more complex in the next year. As a result, E-commerce businesses need to create a robust digital transformation strategy to remain successful.
Rethink your first-party data strategy
E-commerce businesses will need to use systems that can efficiently harness data that they already own in the future. Websites and apps, customer relationship management (CRM) tools, billing systems, and call centers are examples of data-rich channels. Using email marketing and marketing automation to get first-party data will become increasingly vital. It's time for e-commerce businesses to rethink their digital transformation strategy.
Switch to contextual targeting campaigns
The gap between known and unknown audiences will widen substantially in a cookieless world, and the 'known' audience pool will shrink dramatically. Therefore, contextual targeting is necessary for e-commerce businesses to reach new audiences on a larger scale. Contextual targeting includes keyword targeting via paid search and placement targeting via display networks.
When done correctly, your advertising will reach the right individuals at the right time and location. Many e-commerce businesses turn to marketing agencies for their integrated digital transformation services.
Data clean rooms will save the day
User data is now stuck within 'walled gardens' like Google, Facebook, and Amazon due to the loss of third-party cookies and transferable user IDs. You can, of course, utilize this information, but only on the platform's terms and not the same way as earlier. This is where the concept of ‘clean rooms’ for data comes into play. In other words, Google will let you examine data within the Google ecosystem.
Google's Ads Data Hub lets you assess paid media performance and add your first-party data. This enables you to segment audiences, examine reach and frequency, and investigate various attribution models.
Rethink your Ad targeting strategy
As we face issues with user identification, advertisers will inevitably struggle to maintain the same degree of targeted granularity they've come to expect. E-commerce advertisers could target product advertisements against audiences based on data aggregated from third-party cookies for many years. One of the critical drivers of advertising spend in digital media has been hyper-specific targeting.
Forms of advertising outside the 'walled gardens' of Google, Facebook, and Amazon will be most affected. These include those who rely on sharing publisher data to fuel ad targetings, such as programmatic display, native advertising, and multi-channel marketing. Without third-party cookie targeting choices, these approaches will perform worse in the following months.
Businesses will have to adapt to these new changes in the coming months efficiently. The best way forward is to outsource digital transformation services to an experienced digital marketing agency.