Cookie Banner Experience
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In any conversion process there are 3 key moments. Firstly, you reach the right audience. Secondly, they click on your ads. Thirdly, the audience confirms their expectations in the landing page and convert. This seems simple enough. But how have cookie banners thrown a spanner in the works?
The cookie banner is a disruptive and unrelated text that appears in the middle of the page which forces the customer to make a decision. Using a banner may have an impact on the performance of campaigns. As marketeers, our GANDTies asked themselves during this discussion whether or not they should get more involved in how these banners are deployed in the landing pages for which they create campaigns.
Considering all websites must have cookie banners, the question is about how the looks, placement and layout might impact conversion rates, rather than whether or not they should have one. Today, people are used to the cookie banner. However, the choice between accepting and not must be clear and simple. In a few years, its usability will have to be extremely straight forward. At the moment, it is generally too complicated, which is why the question is still being asked.
Currently, they differ considerably from each other. Certain websites put great effort into making them more digestible, using humour and personality. However, a standard cookie banner will eventually be recognised, which means that customers’ reactions won’t differ so much. At first glance it is crucial for customers to know what they’re getting. Generally speaking, if they have a pop up or layover that covers the entire site, drop off rates are significantly higher. Thus, the smaller the better. However, it can also be used as a marketing tool. Indeed, it is the first touch point with the customer: we want to get consent on whether we can share their data with 3rd parties. However, not everyone is willing to share this personal information. As a solution, certain websites give two options: to buy a subscription or accept that content will be used for marketing purposes. By doing this they add value to the customer from an early stage in the process which can drive conversions down the line, especially in the subscription model of business.
According to the University of Michigan, 80% of customers’ goal is to get rid of the cookie banner. Do customers appreciate the value of having a choice? Or is the problem that most people simply don’t know what its significance is? An effective way of tackling this, is for websites to explain to customers why it’s important to have their data – this has a higher tendency of tilting people towards agreeing, as it shows transparency and a personalised system which is often more attractive.
According to our team, it’s not about conversion rates anymore, but about maximising the conversion data on the website – two examples that were discussed:
- About you: the customer can access everywhere even though the cookie banner is still up – this means nothing is tracked until they hit accept.
- Decathlon: a prominent cookie banner means customers cannot interact until they accept.
On About You’s website, if the cookie banner is ignored and only accepted a few pages in, data starts being collected from that point onwards. Therefore, if the customer entered the initial page through a digital campaign through facebook or google ads, all the marketing is gone, and About You will think they entered the page at this point. This is due to an incorrectly implemented type of cookie banner. Compared to Decathlon, if they entered the page through a facebook paid campaign, they need to accept the cookie banner immediately. Decathlon will still have the UTM parameters and will understand where they originally came from, which is another way of optimising the tracking of data.
Our GANDTies believe that forcing people to make a choice early on is the most efficient solution to managing this issue. Not making a choice is also a choice, and by law, it must be equal for the customer. It must speak to them in a way that is as non intrusive as possible, which companies will achieve better as we get closer to a standardised version. At the moment, companies can be clever by using cookie banners as a marketing tool. However, the options available to the customer must be fair, simple and non intrusive.