Google recently announced that its Chrome browser will be dropping third party cookies in 2024 but what impact will that have on the digital landscape? Keep reading to find out.
Following the recent Google I/O Conference for developers which took place in May 2023, the Google Privacy Sandbox team published a new resource for developers detailing their plans to phase out third party cookies within Chrome browsers in 2024.
This initiative is part of the broader Privacy Sandbox project, which in short is an industry-wide effort to establish a more open and privacy-focused web ecosystem
With this in mind, if third party cookies are part of your digital strategy, you might want to start exploring other methods.
In this article, we’ll be taking a deeper look into how this change will affect the digital space.
As part of the Privacy Sandbox project, Chrome is phasing out support for third-party cookies and proposing new functionality for cookies along with purpose-built APIs to continue supporting legitimate use cases while preserving user privacy. The phase out will be gradual, starting from midway through 2024.
The phasing out of third-party cookies will significantly impact advertising and marketing within businesses. Precise audience targeting may become more challenging, leading to a shift towards contextual advertising and potentially higher acquisition costs.
Ad verification could become more complicated, resulting in new methods and technologies to ensure both authenticity and effectiveness. Measuring the success of advertising will need to be more intricate, with the loss of third party cookies making it harder to track the customer journey.
Privacy-centric marketing practises will take centre stage and building trust through transparency and robust consent management will be extremely important.
In order to maintain effective outreach, businesses should start to explore alternative advertising channels that don’t rely on third-party cookies. These channels could include leveraging first-party data, partnering with contextual advertising networks or collaborating with publishers for more targeted opportunities.
As data privacy regulations become more stringent and alternatives to cookies gain prominence, stronger data security measures will be essential. Companies will need to invest in adopting new technologies and methods to navigate this transition.
The significance of first-party data is set to skyrocket in this new era. Establishing direct relationships with customers becomes a strategic imperative as businesses seek to fill the void left by the phased-out third-party cookies. By collecting and leveraging first-party data, companies can gain deeper insights into their customers’ preferences and behaviours while maintaining user trust.
This shift will also require a reevaluation of existing collaborations with third-party vendors and any advertising networks. You should scrutinise these partnerships to make sure they align with data privacy expectations, prioritising data protection and user content at every stage of the customer journey.
The removal of third-party cookies will have a big impact on understanding how people use websites.
Those who manage websites will have less detailed information to work with and this will make it harder to track how users behave online or which parts of a website lead to actions like making a purchase.
Cross-site tracking in particular will be more difficult and figuring out which ads or web pages influenced a user to make a decision (attribution modelling) will become harder as well.
Websites won’t be as good at suggesting things to users based on their past behaviour, because they won’t have much data available.
Without third-party cookies, websites and businesses will need to find new ways to understand and connect with users while respecting their privacy. It’s like solving a puzzle with missing pieces, but it’s a challenge that can lead to more creative and respectful ways of interacting online.
The phasing out of third-party cookies signifies a fundamental shift in the digital landscape. While it poses challenges for businesses reliant on data-driven strategies, it also opens doors for more privacy-centric and user-focused approaches.
To thrive in this evolving ecosystem, businesses must adapt, prioritise data security and explore alternative methods of understanding and engaging with their audiences.
The cookie-less future is approaching, and those who prepare wisely will be best positioned for success in a post-cookie space.