Apple has limited the lifespan of cookies (Google will do the same in 2023): it interferes with tracking where customers are coming from

Technology and Gadgets

What’s the problem: Imagine a user using Safari as their primary browser. He went to the seller’s website three times from advertising channels. And then he returned to the site more than 7 days later and made a purchase. Google Analytics will identify him as a new user, and the source is Direct / None.

Therefore, it becomes more difficult to understand from which advertising channel customers come to the site. The share of direct visits will continue to grow. And the situation will become even more complicated when similar locks are used in 2023 by Google.

In July, Calltouch held an online discussion where Alexey Nikushin (Matemarketing), Alexey Biryukov (Digital Passport), Dmitry Osiyuk (MacPaw), Igor Selitsky (SegmentStream) and Sergey Dovganich ( discussed what solutions to this problem are. The meeting was moderated by Calltouch analyst Pavel Mrykin.

The team chose the main thing from a two-hour discussion .

War of IT giants: why Apple introduced “sanctions” for cookies

Apple started working on ITP – Intelligent Tracking Prevention technology – back in 2017. What this technology does: Blocks popular third-party trackers (3dr party cookies) if they request too much information about users.

That is, the “cookies” of Google Analytics and other services are stored for no more than 7 days, and sometimes up to 24 hours. Cross-domain tracking has been banned altogether.

Since April this year, after a confrontation with Facebook, Apple began to block the IDFA identifier for iOS devices (this interferes with tracking user actions in applications). In June, the tracking limitation began to apply to PC Safari users.

What are the differences between Apple and Facebook

Facebook and many other IT-sites and services position themselves as “free”, but in fact they have their own benefit – they collect a large pool of data for each user. And they sell this data to third parties.

Because of this, a number of scandals have arisen in recent years. The story with the English company Cambridge Analytica (provides political consulting services) was very loud , which may have influenced the results of the US presidential elections in 2016:

Also, quite recently, an investigation book by The New York Times journalists was published, who found out that thousands of Facebook employees have access to the personal data of social network users. And some also use this access for their own benefit or to spy on other people.

As a result, blocking of trackers of external services is introduced by Apple under the flag of “privacy protection”. Facebook responds by saying that limited-targeted ads are generating less sales – and that Apple is hurting small and midsize businesses by doing so.

Why is Apple complicating web analytics? Is this a real concern or a commercial interest?

Alexey Nikushin (Matemarketing) believes that Apple follows the principle of “if you can’t win, take the lead.” In 2012, the company abandoned the CD drive in Macs – at that time not everyone understood this step, but today it is a common solution for thin laptops.

Apple probably wants to be a pioneer in the privacy market as well.

Sergei Dovganich ( thinks that the main reason is the showdown of IT giants and regulators on the topic of privacy. And for the e-commerce segment, the accompanying problems with the need to rebuild web analytics came “tangentially”.

And Alexey Biryukov presents a “conspiracy theory”:

Which business is “hurt” by the reduced lifetime of cookies?

The market can be divided into two parts: some customers make decisions quickly – for example, they go to a website or an application and immediately order pizza.

Others, for a number of reasons, need time to think and decide.

What is happening is a problem for the second segment: it is the purchase of an apartment, a car, education and any other products and services with a longer transaction cycle .

What are the options for solving the problem at the moment?

Roundtable participants shared their ideas and experiences:

Using fingerprint

Using get parameters

Server-side tracking

Sergey Dovganich generally believes that you need to look at the current situation not from the point of view of detours, but from the point of view of opportunities:

How will limiting the lifespan of cookies affect the work of analysts and marketers?

Previously, analysts had to be a little front-end developers – but now, in order to set up competent data collection on your server, you need to understand a little how the backend functions.

Large companies will make “boxed” services:

But the person responsible for the implementation of the collection and processing of data on the client side needs to have a general scheme in mind and be able to draw up a technical specification for a programmer.

As for marketing, it faces the challenge of focusing even more on customer actions in real time. You need to catch a person “on the fly” before he leaves.

How will deteriorating user ID affect ads?

According to Dmitry Osiyuk, advertising systems will have the opportunity to “lie a little in the reports” – and we will not have the opportunity to check it down to the user level or click level. This will only be possible for the client who gives permission to do so.

Alexey Biryukov believes that advertising for small and medium-sized businesses in general will go towards auto strategies and services:

  • indicate the address of your site;
  • your USP;
  • what are you selling;
  • put 100 dollars here and press the button;
  • wait for the result! (not the fact that you will like it, but what to do).

An alternative to auto strategies: take all the levers yourself and customize everything yourself.

Let’s summarize: for whom is this information important and for whom is it time to change and reconfigure something?

If you learned about your business or the problems of your marketing in the described situations and cases, the answer is obvious.

If the traffic problems from Safari have not affected you yet, then we remind you that when cookies begin to restrict Google in 2023, this will affect the accuracy of tracking a significant part of traffic from around the world.

At a minimum, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the technologies and implementation paths in order to understand – how long will it take you to switch to new tracking technologies, and what resources will be needed for this

The conclusions of the round table were prepared by the team – this is a convenient service connector for collecting analytical data. We do not charge additional fees based on data volume.

” Marketing analytics without cookies ” – a free tutorial from Renta: a more detailed guide on how to organize tracking based on 1st party data and take care of data quality in marketing analytics.

About the use of data in internet marketing – our telegram channel.

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