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Navigating Google's third-party cookie deprecation: What eCommerce marketers need to know

Dan Bond
October 3, 2023
3 mins

The digital marketing world is bracing for a big shift as Google gears up to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome. For eCommerce marketers, removing these cookies from the most popular web browser could drastically change how we understand customer behavior, track conversions, and personalize advertisements.

But, this move has also led to misinformation and confusion about what it means. So, let's dig in to understand what it means, the implications for eCommerce marketers, and how RevLifter is responding.

Understanding cookies: first vs. third party

Cookies are the crux of online data tracking, essentially small text files used to remember user information and browsing behaviors. They play a really important role in creating a seamless and personalized online experience. But not all cookies are created equal.

First-party cookies are set by the domain visited and are generally used for remembering login details, website preferences and facilitating shopping carts.

If there is a retailer you visit regularly, it's useful for them to remember who you are so you can pick up where you left off.

Third-party cookies, are created by domains not directly visited. Advertising networks typically use them to collect user data across various sites for targeted ads.

Google's cookie deprecation decision

Google has announced that it will phase out third-party cookies on Chrome, a move they say is motivated by increasing privacy concerns and regulatory pressures.

The impact of this is not to be understated. Without third-party cookies, marketers must rethink how they track campaign effectiveness, develop audience insights, and deliver personalized experiences across sites.

The good news is that first-party cookies won't be affected - in fact Google stated they see them as vital:

"Developing strong relationships with customers has always been critical for brands to build a successful business, and this becomes even more vital in a privacy-first world. We will continue to support first-party relationships on our ad platforms for partners, in which they have direct connections with their own customers. And we'll deepen our support for solutions that build on these direct relationships between consumers and the brands and publishers they engage with."

David Temkin, Director of Product Management, Ads Privacy and Trust, Google

How RevLifter is affected by third-party cookie deprecation

RevLifter helps eCommerce sites increase conversions by delivering intelligent offers. It leverages first-party cookies, which, as mentioned, are unaffected by Google's deprecation.

By utilizing first-party data with consumer consent, RevLifter can continue offering customized incentives and messages that resonate with each customer's unique journey, maintaining a high level of effectiveness without getting into problems around privacy violations.

How eCommerce marketers can prepare

If you're concerned about third-party cookie deprecation, there are some things you can do to be ready:

Invest in first-party data

Shift focus to strategies that collect and utilize first-party data. RevLifter’s platform exemplifies how effective first-party cookie usage can be.

Explore alternative technologies

Investigate technologies and methodologies that adhere to privacy standards while still offering rich customer insights.

Revisit attribution models

Prepare for a different landscape in attribution modeling. The elimination of third-party cookies necessitates a new approach to tracking conversion paths.

Uphold transparency and privacy

Be transparent with users about data usage and uphold high privacy standards to foster trust.

Join industry conversations

Engage with digital marketing and eCommerce communities to share best practices and stay informed on emerging solutions.

Test and learn

Experiment with different tools and tactics to find what works best for your brand and audience in a post-third-party cookie world.

The future is privacy-first

Google's third-party cookie deprecation signals a redefined future for digital marketing where privacy and personalization converge.

Prepare your strategies, embrace innovative technologies, and remain adaptable. The deprecation of third-party cookies might just usher in a new era of digital marketing that is more secure, personal, and effective than ever before.

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