The Cookies Story
Cookies have been around since 1993. They are small pieces of data that websites store on your device when you visit them. They are often used to store your preferences, login status or to track your activity on a website. They are not always visible to the users, and they can be used for tracking purposes without consent. Third-party cookies come from a website other than the one a user is currently on and have been found to be more invasive because the companies behind them use them for marketing and sales purposes.
The personal data that third-party cookies collect are IP addresses, browser history, private information about family, gender, health, payments, religion, political beliefs, and many more. The data privacy law – the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the one used by many countries now to protect users’ data therefore many large companies adjust to comply with it like Apple, Google, and all businesses in countries in European Union and more that offer products and services to citizens in the EU.
Google and Apple have both taken steps to protect their users from third-party cookies by blocking them from their browsers’ default settings, though marketers still find ways around it. Firefox and Brave browsers also have been blocking cookies for years now. Apple has been using Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) which prevents advertisers from tracking users across websites using third-party cookies and the company eliminated cookies in its Safari browser 5 years ago. Now they use App Tracking Transparency (ATT) – a privacy feature that required developers to ask permission to track app users, so customers do not allow it if they do not want it.
In 2020 Google announced in a blog post that their browser Chrome also will stop support of third-party cookies within two years. There was a debate about what would replace them and discontent by marketers and the whole ad tech industry so a delay happened, but it is now official that next year Google will also join the cookieless world and will stop supporting third-party cookies at all.
Are there Cookies in the Cookieless World?
The world is moving towards a cookie-less future. A cookieless world is an online world without any third-party cookies being used in it. A cookieless world would eliminate the widely used targeted advertising, tailored content, and tracking of users across multiple sites. Targeting, selling, and buying – the whole advertising processes will be generally changed in the cookieless world, especially the targeted marketing campaigns and optimizations. There still be platforms for advertisers to target customers in new ways that comply with the laws, but they are still in the phase of testing. What the business could do immediately to prepare and adjust its sales and marketing strategies and operations is to focus on first-party and zero-party data collection and to invest in tools that deliver it such as chatbots, email platforms, and others.
Marketers must utilize in new ways the available tools in various combinations to follow up with the trends and requirements and reach the business goals. They need to rethink their strategies to keep their customers engaged with their brands. We will show you in the next few paragraphs what is the impact on marketers of the cookieless world and solutions to deal with the situation.
How Does This Impact Marketers and their Teams?
The EU’s new regulations on data privacy have made it difficult for marketers to continue to use third-party cookies because it is no longer allowed for them to store data about users without first getting consent from the user. Marketers need to adapt very quickly to the new change of the cookieless world instead of losing privileges and trust. Apple found out that 88% of iPhone users opted out of app tracking in the latest iOS 14.5 update. This means that customers are the ones that want their data secured. To adjust, marketers must start considering transparent processes of gathering data for more successful campaigns. They need to look for alternatives to third-party cookies instruments to know more about customers’ behavior to provide relevant products and services. One of the answers to marketers’ needs and questions is the usage of chatbots, especially with conversational AI. AI chatbot can collect data about customers’ behavior (compliant with personal data requirements) and work as a first-party and zero-party data collection tool on the business website, also assisting with 24/7 customer service and support. Other ways of collecting transparent data are using email marketing, CRM systems and others which combined with AI chatbot will benefit the business the most.
How AI Chatbots Can Help Marketers Crack the Code on Digital Consumerism
Marketers must not take the cookieless world as a bad thing at all to market products and services. They do not have to wait also for Google restrictions or any other ones. They can make the switch now by using conversational AI chatbots that are seen as a first-party data collection tool on a website. For digitally-oriented businesses having already become a business necessity.
First-party cookies are the one that a website collects about customer behavior in general and it is compliant with the personal data requirements: when visitors are on the website, what they search for, when they search and how they do it, and others. All these data statistics can be accumulated and sorted by the AI chatbot as a data collection tool when the business directs customers to it for online communication from all social media accounts, from emails, CRM systems, offline by a QR code, or by any other way right to the chatbot on the website. Results from Deloitte executive survey reveal that 61% of high-growth companies are shifting to a first-party data strategy using instruments that collect such data which may signal that high-growth organizations more often recognize the pressing need to get ahead of a rapidly changing environment. Marketers are always on the lookout for ways to reach their target audience and make them buy their products and services. They are looking for a way to understand customers and to make their marketing messages more interactive, engaging, and personalized. At the same time, the new digital environment and customer behavior and expectations call for privacy respect, and trust. AI chatbots can help marketers accomplish all of that that in a digital world without third-party cookies and with full control of the process.
AI chatbots are also a 24/7 zero-party data collection tools. Zero-party is all the data intentionally shared by users: on the website, in a chatbot, or anywhere in the digital world. These are customers’ intentions on buying a product or service, what they choose, their personal preferences and intentionally shared personal data. An AI chatbot becomes a zero-party data collection tool when the business adds various forms in it that users fill out to receive in exchange for something useful for them – information, files to download, to book an appointment, to make a reservation, subscribe to a newsletter, and many other reasons to collect personal information that users willingly give. For example, to collect users’ emails an e-commerce business can create a marketing and sales funnel that leads to the chatbot or is entirely built inside of it. The business can put a sign-up form in it so customers give their emails to download a tutorial with instructions on different products or other lead magnets. After that, the AI chatbot can guide them to the next step in the chatbot by giving them a promo code for their next purchases so customers feel more special and engaged. The business will collect their emails for starting a warm email sequence for next marketing campaigns. If you want to have such an AI chatbot – it can be done on the Umni no-code platform so to have a fully working zero-party data collection tool now and start your path in the upcoming cookieless world. Get started with a 14-day free trial to be more than one step ahead of your competitors.
With the help of AI chatbots, marketers are able to collect more data about their customers and use it to create personalized content for them. AI chatbots can collect data like customer surveys and questionnaires placed in built-in forms, inquiry forms, application forms, and many others. They can also take in customer feedback and respond instantly to frequently asked questions at any time of the day, 24/7. This way they can help marketers understand what their customers want so that they can provide them with the best possible experience.
AI chatbot on the business website collects data about customer behavior and customer feedback (compliant to personal data requirements) available immediately to the business in its account (as it is on Umni’s platform) – what customers search for in the bot when they search for it, what are the most asked questions, and more. This information is provided in live statistics in a dashboard for further analysis. AI chatbots are not only secured data collection tools but also an optimization tool for online customer communication that automates FAQs and routine tasks to free up time for employees to do more complex tasks. That way a business could have a multifunctional tool that also helps with attracting new leads and engaging customers more so to convince them to make a purchase. A self-service tool that is always available 24/7 and responds immediately – customers would love a business that has it and use it to grow further.
Businesses that implement a chatbot with conversational AI on their website, regardless of their industry, would have the right tool to continue understanding customers better and provide more relevant products and services. They should not wait for the third-party cookies to be gone and wonder what to do but join the cookieless world with those who already started.
How to Better Prepare for The Cookieless World
1. Use first-party and zero-party data collection tools – Use more tools in a combination to achieve better results – chatbots with AI, email platforms, CRM systems and connect them all to follow the customer journey and not miss any opportunities.
2. Build greater relationships with customers and partners – Gathering feedback and testimonials from customers and partners, nurturing them more, and always being available for their problems and needs will help with better understanding and improving the business-partner-customer relationship. That way there always be transparency in the shared data and both customers and partners won’t have issues using this data for further business campaigns.
3. Establish trust by giving more control to customers over their data – by creating content that attracts customers to willingly give their data to read it or download it. It can be placed in a chatbot, in email, in CRM systems, or in social media organic posts and ads to direct to one place customers to fill out their data. That way customers will see the business as more transparent about data collection and have more trust in it.
The Brave New World for Businesses
For marketers, the brave new cookieless world is a time for introspection. There is a need for rethinking marketing strategies and start collecting data from other sources – first-party data collection tools and zero-party data collection tools such as chatbots. Chatbots with conversational AI have now been used for years and continue to be used as part of business processes and growth. Customers are the ones that drive businesses and if they want transparency in their personal data collection, give them tools that work in that direction.
As we love to mention that there was a survey in April 2022 of the top 12 customer service technologies, CBInsights put AI chatbots on the top as the first choice that businesses must prioritize to stay competitive and now its need is increasing when the new web trend of the cookieless world is rising. Do not wait for the personal data restrictions to come to your business’ door and start knocking – get to know your customers better than before with the implementation of an AI chatbot on your site. You can contact us to start your chatbot path now to have a growing business right around the clock!