The new trend in MarTech is privacy. The era in which companies had an almost unlimited access to the online identity of individual users seems to have run its course. More and more organizations, lawmakers and tech companies are making the shift from personal tracking to a more anonymous model. This could seriously impact your digital acceleration, what do the new privacy features in iOS 14 mean for your Facebook e-commerce scaling strategy?
Are you worried your bottom line will be affected due to the new rules in iOS 14? Contact me for up-to-date info about your digital acceleration options for 2021 and beyond.
What’s the big deal with iOS 14?
Apple iOS 14 was introduced in June 2020 and is considered one of the largest updates in the history of the platform. The Home Screen has been refined, Siri is finally a bit smarter and it’s now possible to set third-party apps as the default. Great for Apple users right? Well, if your company relies on user data to grow you might not be so enchanted by a couple of new features. In particular the way Apple will handle user privacy in the future.
If you’re an Android user you will surely be aware of the numerous warnings about the ways apps use your data. Access to the microfone, camera and contacts if you just want to play a simple game. Apple has avoided these messages for the most part, primarily because their App Store is much more curated compared to the Google Play Store. Basically, the threshold is set so high at the Apple entrance you will be safe once you get inside.
Well, this practice has changed with the introduction of iOS 14, now there’s a lot more information available about the ways Apps use your data. This is not all, with the introduction of Apple iOS 14.5 third party trackers will get the opt-in treatment. The user will get a pop-up asking the user if they want to allow tracking. Suffice to say many users will opt-out of this option resulting in much less user data for advertisers to collect.
Should you be worried?
There are many things going on in the world right now you should be worried about, how high does this development rank? That depends on your reliance on mobile user data to gain insight into your target audience. If you’re reading this page chances are it will rank pretty high, and you should start working on changing the way you collect data. As more mobile users will cut the cord regarding the Facebook Pixel and other tracking technologies your connection to your target audience will be affected. Don’t get worked up too much though, every challenge comes with new opportunities.
What is the impact of iOS 14.5 for MarTech?
We’ve come to accept cookies as the default of tracking users online. Some cookies are there to store personal settings or to retrieve abandoned shopping carts. Some are there to track the user during a single browsing session, some are persistent and follow the customer on their journey. This technology can benefit users and companies alike, but they are not always beneficial to all parties involved. If a user does not want to be tracked they can already exclude (third-party) cookies while visiting a website in the browser. This is in part due to international regulations, with the EU as a frontrunner in this area.
Apple is a company that has always been an advocate for user privacy. Because they are a hardware company first, software company second, they can afford to increase user privacy without harming their bottom line. In fact, privacy protection is part of their identity and an important reason customers choose Apple products over competitors. iOS 14 is the first step towards full transparency, iOS 14.5 will take this shift even further. The new policy applies not only to the Safari browser but system wide, and will have effect within the Safari browser, native Apple apps and all other apps on any mobile Apple device running iOS 14.5 or higher.
Tracking cookies such as the Facebook Pixel will still be available with the main difference users will be prompted to opt in or out. Early estimates state 90 percent of users will opt out and 60 percent of companies will see a decrease in revenue. If you or your client makes use of the Audience Network option your campaigns might lose their relevance and fail to reach the target audience. Even if the user allows Facebook tracking the retention is still just 7 days. This leaves a window of one week for retargeting.
And what can I do about it?
Facebook has already developed the “Aggravated Event Measurement Protocol”. This protocol limits measurements to 8 conversion instances for each domain name. Examples of these conversions are visiting specific pages, adding items to a shopping cart or completing a purchase. You can take some measures right now:
- Update the Facebook SDK for iOS 14 to version 8.1.
- Evaluate the options in the App Events and Mobile Measurement Partners.
- Make sure top level domains are verified.
- Configure the 8 web conversion events you want to track for each domain.
- After publication it’s not possible to toggle iOS 14 inclusion. You will have to turn it off or delete entirely.
Keep in mind the collection and analysis of statistics has been limited since the introduction of iOS 14. Real-time reports are no longer possible and data can take a while to show in your dashboard.
What’s the future for user tracking?
Apple iOS is one of the largest operating systems in the world, with over 60 percent market share in the United States and over 30 percent in Europe. Furthermore Google has announced to stop tracking cookies in the Chrome browsing by 2022 and replacing it with a new system that they claim will protect user pagina . This means some of the largest tech companies in the world are placing user privacy at the forefront of their business strategy. Is this a bad thing? No, it’s probably about time companies stop regarding users as data generating cattle and take online privacy seriously. Companies have been spoiled with detailed analytics about individual users and will have to adapt their marketing strategy. Instead of fearing changes welcome new opportunities.
How will you reach your audience after iOS 14.5? Send me a message and let’s see if your business is future proof.