Not all cookies are the same
Essentially, cookies are pieces of code that are saved by websites onto a user’s web browser. Not all cookies are the same. Some are downright essential for every webpage to function properly, while others only serve advertisement purposes. Cookies are managed differently depending on the browser and have different permissions.
Third-party cookies are tracking codes set by domains other than the ones the visitor is currently visiting. These occur when a publisher adds third-party elements to their website.
You probably recognize them as the ads that follow you from page to page after you have visited a webshop.
As an advertiser or someone working in marketing, third-party cookies allow you to learn about your web visitor’s online behavior (such as visits, purchases and other data reflecting your behavior). With this data, you can build profiles and gather these into audiences for you to retarget your products.
However, third-party cookies make it almost impossible to secure customer privacy - and they are often collected without consent. This also means that it's impossible to know where the data stems from.
Flimsy data = flimsy marketing.
When you visit a website, a first-party cookie is set on your browser.
First party-cookies collect data about visitors’ behavior, such as clicks on site, abandoned basket, transactional data, the number of users and sessions, which products are most popular etc.
The purpose of these cookies is to collect data that help you enhance the customer experience on your site. When used correctly, it helps you deliver much more personalized product and content recommendations, send out personalized trigger mails, and build meaningful audiences that you can target in your paid media.
Importantly, these are the cookies that your visitors willingly share with you. By allowing cookies, you can lawfully track your user's movements around your channels and create tailored experiences as they go. These are also the data you collect through loyalty programs and VIP memberships, where you offer special discounts or benefits in exchange for data like e-mail addresses, birthdays etc.
In other words, these are the data you want to invest in! They make for the best customer experiences and you - and you alone - own this data.
Other types of cookies…
Session cookies are essential for customer experiences. These usually expire immediately or a few seconds after a visitor leaves the web browser.
Without session cookies, e-commerce websites would not be able to remember a product placed in the basket before the user reached the checkout page. These are critical for the webpage to work properly.
Persistent cookies can be stored on a user’s device for years to help remember information, settings, preferences, or sign-in data that a user has previously saved.
When users visit a website, these choices are saved and can help the user experience. An example of persistent cookie is when a website remembers your passwords and e-mail address long after you have closed the tabs and turned off your computer.
These are a major help for users who go back forth between webpages. While you can easily do without them, their basic functionality is what helps smoothens your user experience online.