Third-party cookies have long been an essential tool for customer experience (CX) and marketing strategies since the data they collect provide excellent insight into customer preferences and personalization. However, without using additional, unreliable methods, cookies also lack transparency as to what customer information is being tracked, what can be gleaned about them, and who’s doing the collecting.
For these reasons and more, browsers like Google are moving toward a future that no longer includes cookies. Google plans to remove cookie support toward the end of 2023. Other big-name companies, such as Apple and Microsoft, have already started re-gearing their products and CX processes to prioritize customer privacy.
While this is great—in that it gives consumers greater control over what they do and don’t choose to share—it means that companies won’t be able to analyze and personalize CX the way they’re used to doing.
Rather than mourning the loss of traditional methods, companies can view this as an opening to refine data collection practices and optimize how they construct experiences that make customers feel understood, cared for, and valued.
Companies should start working on first-party, in-house data collection and management as early as now. Rethinking and restructuring the flow and governance of information-gathering is an excellent opportunity to make sure you’re able to build complete pictures of your consumer base, letting them provide you with everything you need to know without having to sort through unnecessary extras. Perfecting this process also means less dependence on third-party tracking and software so that all you need is already at your fingertips.
One effective way to do this is to refocus on customer loyalty programs and group-based marketing, which empower customers to share with you on their terms. Though highly specific individual targeting may prove less prominent in marketing and personalization than it has been in the past, understanding and appealing to interest groups remains a vital avenue for CX optimization.
Whether we enter a cookie-less world this year or in years yet to come, we should be prepared to continue delivering top-quality support without relying on cookies to make it sweet.