Life after third-party cookies: how companies are adapting to the new era of tracking
After the passage of CCPA, ePR, and GDPR, the tech industry faced tremendous changes. With third-party cookies and tracking redirects becoming a thing of the past, the advertising and affiliate markets have been actively seeking solutions that will be effective within a regulatory framework.
Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox decided to block third-party cookies by default a long time ago. For now, a notable holdout is Google Chrome, with 67% of the browser market share. But this tech giant also plans to end third-party cookies in 2023. Previously, we wrote an article for IAB Europe about a cookie-less future — and now it has become a new reality for all partnership market players.
Is someone still using third-party cookies?
The changes didn’t happen overnight — everyone had enough time to prepare. Our experience in this industry helped us foresee these events even before the official announcements of tech leaders. So it was easier for Admitad to adjust to the new realities. That’s why our tracking solutions (such as TagTag) don’t use third-party cookies, and our clients don’t have to undergo significant changes.
However, even among thousands of customers in our Partner Network, about a hundred advertisers continue using third-party cookies. There is only a small volume of orders — literally a few percent of the total — involved, but it shows perfectly well that old habits die hard. That’s why we still think it’s important to talk about the consequences of using outdated tracking methods and the advantages of modern solutions, which we continue to update and improve.
Some companies still use Old Pixel and Image/Iframe Pixel Code integration types, built on third-party cookies. Indian and Polish companies are particularly prone to this. In addition to violating the law, it can lead them to other unpleasant consequences:
- Because of the restrictions, these companies will receive incorrect information. They will draw the wrong conclusions determining a marketing strategy and waste advertising budgets.
- Orders brought in by partners will not be counted correctly. It will undermine the company’s reputation among publishers. Some of them may even refuse to work with such advertisers at all.
Such consequences are no longer worth the advantages left to third-party data. With each passing day, the humble ranks of its adherents continue to thin.
What solutions help maintain the effectiveness of tracking?
One of the most straightforward alternatives is first-party data (first-party cookies). That is information a marketer, advertiser, or publisher has collected during a user’s direct interaction with them. For example, in the process of leaving reviews or making purchases, including data from CRM systems, subscription forms, and social media profiles. You, as a marketer, can collect first-party data on your own without relying on third parties or violating GDPR because a user voluntarily provides this information.
All types of tracking integrations currently offered by Admitad are not subject to any restrictions since they do not use third-party data. We get depersonalized data about the target action performed by the user — the source of the traffic, the order number and its amount.
The innovations in Firefox, Google and other browsers do not affect publishers and advertisers cooperating with Admitad. Admitad’s tracking code, TagTag, uses alternative ways of storing and passing the click id (which is usually stored in cookies) and does not fall under the rules of blocking. In addition, we use alternative ways of transmitting data about users’ targeted actions in all our integration options:
- postback request;
- integration via plugins;
- Google Analytics API.
If you still use third-party data in your partner activities — change your approach now to avoid collection of incorrect information, violations of the law and technical failures. The re-integration process is easy and won’t take long. Feel free to contact your account manager for expert advice on the most suitable integration method for your business.
You can find detailed information about these types of integrations in a special section on the Admitad Support website. Each has requirements and benefits. Such a wide range of options allows each client to find a conveniently tailored solution.
Make the crucial transition now
Innovations in legislation have led to significant changes not only for advertisers but also for publishers. They were directly affected by the ban on tracking redirects. Caring equally for both sides, we created an order tracking algorithm named Teleport — the most up-to-date solution that solves all the key issues associated with redirects. Thanks to this technology, users get to the advertiser’s site directly, without redirects, while Admitad and the advertiser still receive accurate data on orders.
We understand that sometimes it’s hard for clients to give up once effective tools. But the consequences of their use have become too severe — and will only get worse in the future. Tech companies and regulators continue to tighten regulations on how user data is obtained and used.
We highly advise anyone still using third-party cookies and tracking redirects in their work to change their approach now, so they don’t face any sudden difficulties later, when new restrictions will come into effect.