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Cookies: Not the chocolate chip kind!

website_cookieEver wonder how an advertisement appear on a web browser after you’ve visited a website, or perhaps how websites remember your preference from visit to visit? The answers is “cookies”

A cookie is a small piece of text code sent to your browser by a website you visit. It contains information about your visit. The browser stores this data and pulls it out the next time you visit the site to make the next trip easier and more personalized. Additionally, cookies can be used to customize your browsing experience, or to deliver ads targeted to you.

Let’s review an example – You are in the market for a Michael’s Kors wrist watch and you visit Macys.com, you spend a few minutes clicking away and find the one you like, but the price is not something you’d like to pay. You soon close your session and visit a different site. Now you start seeing advertisements of the watch you were seeing earlier at macys.com. Macy’s is not stalking you instead wants you back and purchase that wrist watch online. This is called as remarketing – what macys.com did was place a cookie and recorded your preference.

 

Are they different types of cookies?

Yes, session cookies that are stored in your computer’s memory during a user’s browsing session are automatically deleted from the users computer when the browser is closed.

Session cookies are never written on your hard drive and they do not collect any information from the users computer. They expire as soon as the session ends and are not accessible.

 

Permanent, persistent, or stored cookies

Permanent and persistent cookies are stored on your computer and are not deleted when the browser is closed. Permanent cookies can retain user preferences for a particular web site, allowing those preferences to be used in future browsing sessions. Permanent cookies are used to identify individual users, so they may be used by web sites to analyze users’ surfing behavior by storing clicks, page views, product selections/views and shopping cart abandonment. They are usually configured to keep track of users for a prolonged period of time, in some cases many years.

Some users prefer to block cookies, which is why most browsers give you the ability to manage cookies to suit your tastes. You can set up rules to manage cookies on a site-by-site basis, giving you greater control over your privacy. What this means is that you can choose which sites you trust and allow websites to cookies you for those sites thus blocking cookies from everyone else.

 

Conclusion

We marketers love capturing user data on product views, cart abandonment and return prospects that convert and become customers. Online advertising gives us the ability to target and retarget our ideal prospects. Through remarketing we serve ads based on our prospects prior engagement. Each action that’s taken online draws a sharper and more useful profile of our prospect. Delete your cookies and you’re a lot less valuable to us.

 

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