Say Goodbye to Third-Party Cookies: The Power of AI in Shaping the new eCommerce industry

Comunicat de presa partener: The eCommerce industry is about to undergo a remarkable transformation as it strives to adapt to increasing regulations such as the GDPR (EU) and CCPA (California), and the evolving demands and expectations of modern-day consumers. With Google’s announcement that it will disable the use of third-party cookies for tracking user activity starting in 2024, the landscape of online retail is set to go through a significant shift. Meanwhile, personalized shopping experiences and omnichannel communication are gaining popularity across the industry. These innovations, powered by artificial intelligence, are helping businesses boost conversion rates, average order values, and customer loyalty. In this article, we explore the impact of Google’s decision and how personalization and omnichannel strategies are shaping the future of eCommerce. 

The era before the third-party cookie disablement

A third-party cookie is a tracking code that marketers have been using for years to optimize their campaigns and overall marketing efforts. When users visit certain websites, these cookies are placed in their web browsers. Unlike first-party cookies, which are created and tracked by the websites themselves, third-party cookies are generated by other domains.

As a result, third-party cookies gather data from multiple websites and collect various types of information, including personal data like age, gender, location, browser, and device, as well as behavioral data such as visited webpages and usage patterns.

Through the years, marketing specialists have benefited significantly from third-party cookies. They have gained valuable insights about target audiences by tracking users across the internet and have been able to attribute user activities to specific touchpoints in the customer journey, determining which channels drive conversions.

These insights were used to create targeted advertising campaigns that focus on audiences with specific traits based on the collected data. Marketing specialists enhanced their efforts by automating target audience selection and re-engagement through the utilization of tools such as marketing automation software. This approach not only saved time but also boosted the return on investment derived from all marketing activities.

Reshaping the marketing ecosystem: surviving the death of third-party cookies

The age of third-party cookies is coming to an end, driven by the growing importance of data privacy. Users are becoming more aware of the huge amounts of information collected by companies and are insisting on stronger boundaries for their personal data. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)  have accelerated this transformative journey. In alignment with consumers’ expectations, major industry players such as Apple and Google are taking measures to remove the use of third-party cookies.

Third-party cookies have traditionally focused on quantity rather than quality, allowing for visitor tracking on websites. However, eliminating this approach presents an opportunity for companies to create a more genuine omnichannel experience. It is likely that users will subscribe and grant permission for their data to be used if they see a clear improvement in the services.

However, aside from privacy being one of the main causes of Adblock usage, a bad user experience also tops the list. Because if there is something people value almost as much as their privacy, it’s not getting spammed with irrelevant advertisements. In fact, recent research shows that, among the US respondents in Blockthrough’s Adblock report, 81% use ad blockers to avoid interruptive/annoying ad experiences, compared to 58% who use it to protect their privacy. So when asked whether users would be open to light and non-intrusive ads to support web publishers, 63% responded yes.

The user experience, without a doubt, stands as a determining factor when it comes to the effectiveness of your digital advertising strategies.

Fascinating insights from Coveo, Segment, and McKinsey and Company demonstrate that consumers are willing to spend over 30% extra on products that truly cater to their needs, provided they receive a personalized experience. 

The Future of Online Advertising: Personalization and omnichannel communication

If you ask several individuals unfamiliar with the marketing field how they define the marketing communications they receive from online stores, one of the most commonly heard responses will undoubtedly be the word „spam.” The reason is that customers are often inundated with advertising messages, offers, and promotions simply because they have shown fleeting interest, for example, in a particular merchant’s webpage. To avoid being considered spam, communication must be timely, accurate, and relevant to what the specific user would want and seek from the particular brand.

The general objective is to accurately anticipate the specific products each individual desires to buy, at the right moment they intend to make a purchase, while also considering the price they are willing to pay, their motivations for purchasing, their preferred communication platform, and other relevant factors. Armed with this knowledge, online stores can effectively cultivate enduring relationships with customers, enhance the duration of their website engagement, and drive sales growth without overwhelming them with repetitive offers.

Customers nowadays expect and prefer a seamless experience when they switch between physical stores and online platforms. It’s important for retailers to integrate these channels effectively, making it easy for customers to navigate between different devices and platforms.

To address the challenges posed by internet cookies, Google has come up with an innovative solution called the Topics API. This interface aims to target customers based on their interests while prioritizing their privacy. Instead of relying on invasive tracking methods, user interests will be determined by analyzing their browsing history from the past three weeks. Additionally, artificial intelligence will assist in categorizing each webpage based on its content.

Importantly, all this data will be stored locally on the user’s device and won’t be transmitted to remote servers. Google believes that this approach provides a more secure way to collect user activity data compared to traditional third-party cookies.

Overall, Google’s Topics API offers a more user-friendly and privacy-conscious solution, ensuring a smoother experience for customers while respecting their privacy.

Cookies have always been a convenient tool. They allow tracking of website visitors based on scale rather than quality. Eliminating this approach will force many companies to build their marketing strategies from scratch to survive in the market. They will need to start collecting data about their customers, their online behavior, and analyze their needs, desires, and preferences. Knowing this information, retailers can actively engage their customers by providing offers, product recommendations, and discounts that accurately match those needs. 

Adapting to the new reality would be much easier and successful for online stores by using such AI-based platforms that provide such comprehensive processes for growth and customer communication because that is the only way forward for the eCommerce industry in the emerging cookie-less world. 

As the eCommerce industry prepares for the end of third-party cookies, the focus is shifting towards personalized shopping experiences and omnichannel communication. By leveraging  AI automation marketing platforms, such as Releva, eCommerce shops can adapt to the changing landscape and build stronger connections with customers. The disablement of third-party cookies presents an opportunity for more authentic strategies that cater to individual needs and preferences, ultimately shaping the future of eCommerce. 


Autor: Georgi Georgev, CEO and co-founder of Releva

Georgi is a senior product and technical leader with more than 20 years of experience in product strategy, software engineering, big data, and machine learning. He has built successful AI & Data platforms that are used by millions of users. Georgiev holds a PhD from Sofia University and a Global Executive MBA from the Instituto de Empresa (the IE).

Currently, Georgi is the CEO at Releva, an innovative startup developing an AI-powered platform dedicated to improving customer journeys and achieving eCommerce growth. The company provides a marketing automation platform that personalizes the website and the multichannel to increase conversion rates, average order values, customer lifetime values, and leads to revenue growth with an amazing ROI. Releva’s mission is to help merchants build and nurture stronger connections with their customers through AI-powered marketing automation, personalization, and omnichannel communication.

Releva integrates deeply with every eCommerce shop and all digital channels that generate traffic, providing accurate information based on the built 360-degree profile of each user. The platform consistently generates a 20%+ (for our ideal profile 40%+) revenue increase combined with a stunning 51x+ ROI.