Why Is Cookieless Retargeting So Important?

Retargeting is a vital part of many advertising campaigns, especially those that struggle with low conversion rates. Yet, when we usually think about it, we associate it with third-party cookies. Thus, cookieless retargeting seems to be an oxymoron, yet in fact it is the future of this strategy. Why? Learn by reading this article!

The problem with third-party cookies

The main issue with traditional retargeting is the slowly diminishing support for third-party cookies in the leading internet browsers. While it already was a small problem since Firefox, Safari and Edge do not support them, it was Google’s announcement that they will drop out of supporting third-party cookies in Chrome that truly sparked the discussion about an alternative.

Currently, Google claims that they will stop supporting third-party cookies at the beginning of the year 2024. As it is the leading browser (in terms of market share), it caused quite a headache for advertisers. However, there is a way to counter this problem – cookieless retargeting.

What is cookieless retargeting?

As the name suggests, cookieless retargeting is the strategy of re-approaching potential customers who visited your website but did not convert, without the use of third-party tracking cookies. This is usually done based on the first-party cookies and the data stored in them. However, it does not enable such a detailed personalization as when using the third-party ones.

When performing cookieless retargeting, you put your users into groups, depending on the data that you collected. This ‘label’ is later stored in the cookies of the particular users. Advertisers then bid for an audience belonging to a particular group.

Another alternative to cookie-based retargeting is Google’s FLEDGE API. Similarly to the previous solution, it is supposed to group users up and let advertisers send their marketing materials to particular audiences. In this case, the users will be labelled based on their browsing habits. Yet, there is one issue with this method – it only works for these users who are logged into their Google accounts.

The importance of cookieless retargeting

Having discussed the issues with third-party cookies and the ways to perform cookieless retargeting, it is time to speak about its role. After all, the lack of support for third-party cookies didn’t appear out of nowhere.

The usual, third-party cookies brought up many privacy concerns. They collected too much personal information, which on one hand was beneficial for the advertisers, but on the other allowed organizations to create detailed profiles and rip the users of their anonymity. Moreover, malicious third-party cookies could be used to track people surfing the net, steal their personal information or even use it to infect their devices with malware.

Cookieless retargeting allows advertisers to maintain personalized campaigns without imposing such risks. Thus, they do not suffer much, while the users benefit significantly.

The takeaway

Due to Google Chrome announcing that they will stop supporting third-party cookies, the role of cookieless retargeting has grown significantly. While it is not the perfect solution – the ads will be slightly less personalized – it is the best compromise between privacy and customer-centric advertising achievable right now.