How brands can succeed in a world where the “privacy-first” approach dominates.

The inability for companies to use third party cookie data is not fatal, but on the contrary an opportunity to strengthen the use of first party data.

Undoubtedly, the pandemic has had a lasting impact on consumer behavior, accelerating the digital migration. While in prison, the Internet was the only way to stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues, to have fun or to shop. However, as the restrictions loosened, many of us continued to shop online. According to the FEVAD (Federation of E-commerce and Distance Selling), the e-commerce turnover in 2021 was 15% higher than the e-commerce turnover in 2020, while the confinement period was shorter in 2021.

The increase in volumes can be welcomed by brands as in theory having more data can lead to a better understanding of customers. But with looming regulatory changes regarding the use of third-party cookies, some vigilance is needed.

In the digital marketing industry, data privacy has been a topic for a long time: how to optimize the browsing experience of internet users while respecting their choice of what to track or not. Over time, many legislative and technological changes have affected the way brands collect, store and use customer data – it’s an ever-changing field.

Today, and particularly in Europe, the customer is able to decide how brands can use their data thanks to the GDPR. This will be even more so at the end of 2023 when companies will no longer have access to third-party cookies in Google Chrome, the most popular browser in the world with a market share of 65%. Added to this the fact that Apple allows users to block app tracking within other apps, it is clear that brands will have to work very hard to stay relevant and connected to users in a world without cookies and privacy first and foremost.

No cookies? No problem !

The data offers businesses a wealth of information on consumer behavior and preferences. They allow you to draw a portrait of the individual and communicate in the most personalized way possible. Marketing managers fear they will no longer be able to attract new customers due to the inability to use legitimate third party cookies, but they can compensate for this loss with proprietary data, consent-based brand ownership, rather than with third parties. -party cookies that belong to the platforms.

Brands currently have unlimited access to proprietary data. They access it easily through their own channels and can maximize value with every customer interaction. However, with consumers now able to decide not to share their data, this flow of useful information could disappear if brands don’t demonstrate the exchange of value that accompanies an enhanced, personalized experience.

Consumers want to be seen by brands as unique individuals: to get the right message, at the right time and on the right platform. Companies therefore need to have agile technology to collect, analyze and act in real time. The current supply chain crisis makes it critical to be able to adapt what is presented to the customer as they browse. Especially since customers are looking for up-to-date information on product availability.

Transparency rhymes with trust

In this new “privacy-first” world, companies must win the trust of customers to continue to collect increasingly important first-party data. If a successful experience is important to the customer, it is also essential to clearly communicate the data collected, as well as why and how it will be used. With the risks of cyber attacks, transparency is needed to address customer concerns when disclosing their data.

It should not be forgotten that asking a lot of data from your customers can also give a bad image. Brands should consider whether they really need a customer’s phone number if nothing will be handed over or personal information (e.g. mother’s maiden name) to recover an account. It is essential to determine the bare minimum of data necessary to provide a successful browsing experience.

Empower people

Misuse of data can damage a brand’s reputation and lead to a loss of trust even among the most loyal customers. The increased focus on data protection should be seen as an opportunity for brands to improve the use of data. Indeed, providing an excellent customer experience is not only an ambitious goal for brands, but also the key to their future success.

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