Did you know that during a survey, 41% of marketers said they would increase their budget for first-party cookie use in 2023?
For many years, cookies have been a dominant online method for tracking user behavior. But the digital landscape is moving towards cookie-less tracking, with Usermaven offering cookieless tracking in 2023 and tech giant Google planning to phase out third-party cookies by 2024.
This shift is happening because of the challenges of using cookies, such as user privacy and non-transparent data practices of third-party domains resulting in unwanted ad targeting. Cookieless tracking is going to transform the digital space to be more privacy-friendly, transparent, and personalized.
So the question of importance is, are you ready for this shift? Explore this article to discover how cookieless tracking differs from traditional cookie-based tracking and how this shift impacts your business and advertisers. After reading the article, you will be better equipped with the information needed to transition.
What are cookies?
Cookies are small data blocks a web server generates when a user browses a website on a computer or other device. The web server sends cookies to the web browser, which stores them on the user's device.
A browsing session may result in placing more than one cookie on the user's device. Cookies remember a user's preference and login details and are used to track user activity on a website.
The information collected by cookies finds application in user experience personalization, authentication, session management, analytics & tracking, advertising, and more. Cookies can be either temporary or persistent. Let's look at the most used cookie types across the internet.
First-party cookies are created by the website that they user is visiting. They provide basic functionality and personalize the user experience. For instance, first-party cookies can remember the user's login details so they don't have to re-enter them whenever they visit the same website.
They track a user's browsing session on a website and get deleted once it ends (the user may log out or close the website). First-party cookies are generally less-invasive than third-party cookies since the website creates and controls them.
Users can choose to block first-party cookies to maintain their privacy. Many web browsers allow users to control their cookie settings and delete cookies regularly.
Third-party cookies are created by a domain other than the one user is currently visiting. They collect user information for a third-party domain whose content or service is being used by the website a user visits, such as an advertisement or a social media sharing button. They sit on a user's device until expiration or manual deletion. They allow third-party domains to track user behavior across multiple websites and deliver targeted advertising.
Third-party cookies have been subject to criticism, especially in recent years, with the increase in privacy awareness. They track user activity across the web without their knowledge or consent, making them controversial. Due to consumer privacy concerns, many websites have stopped using them or allow users to block or limit third-party cookies.
What is cookie-less tracking?
Cookie-less tracking is an alternative user behavior tracking and targeted advertising method that does not use first-party or third-party cookies.
Cookies-less tracking is emerging with the increase in cookie blockers or the option to delete cookies. Several techniques, such as fingerprinting, device graphs, contextual advertising, and first-party data, are used for cookie-less tracking.
In addition to impacting website owners, consumers, and regulators, cookieless tracking affects tech companies in the digital advertising ecosystem, creating opportunities for tech companies to launch new products and services that meet the needs of website owners and advertisers in a cookieless world.
Difference between cookie-based vs. cookie-less tracking
The main difference between traditional cookie-based and cookie-less tracking is how both collect and store user data.
Cookie-based tracking relies on cookies to track the user's activity across multiple websites and to deliver targeted advertising based on their interests and browsing history. On the other hand, cookie-less tracking uses different techniques, such as fingerprinting or device graphs, to provide the information needed for website owners and advertisers without compromising user privacy.
In addition to respecting users' data privacy, cookie-less tracking provides more accurate and comprehensive user behavior data. Since traditional cookie-based tracking relies on cookies that users can block or delete, it has data limitations. On the contrary, cookie-less tracking collects data from various sources providing a complete picture.
In conclusion, despite being a relatively new technology, cookie-less tracking is effective without compromising users' privacy. It uses alternative and accurate data collection methods while addressing privacy concerns.
How will Usermaven's cookieless tracking impact your business
1. Improved user experience
According to Statista, in 2021, around 42% of people from the USA rejected cookie-consent banners. Usermaven's cookie-less tracking gets rid of annoying cookie-consent banners. Moreover, your users can avoid being bombarded with ads for products or services they have already purchased or are not interested in.
Cookie-less tracking is designed to be more transparent than traditional cookie-based tracking, giving users greater control over their data and privacy This can result in a better user experience engaging advertising experience, increased retention rate, and decreased churn rate. Websites and advertisers can deliver relevant content with a more accurate picture of user interests and behavior, providing a more personalized experience.
Websites that use cookie-based tracking need to load and process cookies, which can slow down their performance. On the contrary, cookie-less tracking improves site performance creating a better user experience.
Analytics tools like Google Analytics and Mixpanel tend to provide inaccurate statistics because approximately 27% of users block tracking scripts using adblockers. However, Useramven's pixel white labeling technology bypasses adblockers to provide 99% accurate statistics.
Cookie-less tracking provides accurate data by using a variety of alternative methods to collect information about user behavior online, such as:.
- Contextual advertising - It leads to more relevant ads based on what the users are currently viewing rather than relying on previous browsing history.
- Device graphs - This technique uses data points about a user's device to combine data from multiple devices to provide a complete picture of user behavior.
- Machine learning - Cookieless tracking also uses machine learning to analyze and identify patterns and trends in user behavior data that are otherwise difficult to find with cookie-based tracking.
This accurate data can then be used to run targeted Google and Facebook ads that will result in accurate digital marketing analytics, increased conversion rate, and customer retention.
Usermaven's cookie-less tracking collects anonymous data about user behavior without storing or sharing personally identifiable information (PII). It also does not allow data sharing with third-party domains and advertisers, so users can enjoy greater control over the data without worrying about compromising their privacy.
Users are more informed about how their data is collected and used with more transparent data practices under Usermaven's cookie-less tracking. For this reason, our users trust our services.
Is GDPR compliant
Privacy laws and regulations require that businesses be transparent about the type of cookies they use and how they collect and use users' data. Failing to comply with these regulations leads to legal implications, banned operations, and heavy fines from the concerned privacy regulators, causing reputational damage to a business. Therefore, companies prefer data analytics platforms compliant with GDPR, CCPA, and more regulations.
For instance, GDPR requires website owners and advertisers to obtain explicit user consent before collecting personal data. So you can implement a consent management platform that allows users to opt in or out of data collection. But what's even better is that Usermaven's cookie-less tracking collects anonymous data that does not identify individual users. And it is GDPR and CCPA compliant too.
How Will Cookieless Tracking Affect Advertisers?
The effects of cookieless tracking are both positive and negative for advertisers.
One major pro of cookieless tracking is uninterrupted and accurate data, which can help marketers with the creation of effective marketing campaigns and the optimization of their existing marketing strategies.
It can also help increased customer reach and relevant content/ad delivery without using third-party cookies. They can stop worrying about cookie-blocking technology that limits the effectiveness of traditional cookie-based tracking techniques.
On the contrary, without the ability to track users across multiple devices and platforms, advertisers may not be able to get a complete view of a user's behavior. And they may struggle to deliver targeted ads at scale. The biggest challenge for marketers and advertisers is transforming unknown users into known customers. Since they mostly rely on cookies to identify these unknown users when browsing the internet.
With less granular user behavior data, the top-of-the-funnel stages will be impacted the most, where marketers need to create brand awareness, and prospects have not given contact details.
In addition, advertisers may need to adjust their targeting strategies, such as shifting to first-party data and investing in new technologies and platforms to adapt to the changing landscape of cookieless tracking. It requires additional time and resources and a willingness to experiment and try new approaches. Also, advertisers and marketers will need to focus on building trust with consumers by being transparent about how they collect and use data.
Cookieless tracking offers both challenges and opportunities for advertisers, but it is inevitable for them to adapt to the new digital advertising landscape to remain effective and competitive.
Is your organization prepared for a cookieless future?
Cookieless tracking will impact how businesses market their products, convert prospects to customers, and maintain and grow revenue. As a business owner, you must ask yourself if you are ready for this change. Although cookies are not completely disappearing, preparing for a cookieless future with a proactive approach can help your organization embrace the change.
According to the GetApp survey, 41% of marketers will face the challenge of tracking user data. The shift is already happening; adapt cookieless data tracking with Usermaven and freshen up your advertising strategies so you can surf the waves when they get high.
FAQs about cookieless tracking
Can you track without cookies?
Although cookies are widely used to track user behavior, it is possible to track users without them with methods such as fingerprinting, server-side tracking, and tracking through browser and device settings.
What is cookieless targeting?
Cookieless targeting is a form of digital advertising targeting users without relying on cookies or third-party tracking technologies. Cookieless targeting is becoming increasingly popular because of the growing use of adblockers due to privacy concerns. Cookieless targeting uses contextual targeting, device fingerprinting, and server-side tracking to deliver ads to users without violating privacy regulations.
How do marketing teams usually collect and share data?
Typically, marketing teams collect and share data through website analytics, CRM systems, email marketing platforms, and social media analytics. For data sharing, marketers use visualization and reporting tools like Excel, Usermaven, Google Analytics, etc