How Businesses Can Deal with a Cookieless Future?

impact of cookieless future for businesses

We are moving towards a complete deprecation of third-party cookies. What does it mean? Businesses that offer online marketing services or run their eCommerce stores will no longer have access to third-party cookies and must develop new ways to connect with their customers. Unfortunately, most businesses have refused to take any steps to address this challenge.

The primary reason is that they are yet to fully comprehend what it means for their business. Secondly, businesses feel they will develop a workaround, enabling them to work as they did before. Thirdly, they do not have the resources to deal with it. Lastly, they understand how the deprecation impacts them but refuse to do anything about it because of the effort required.

However, we see it as an opportunity. We will discuss it more later. Let’s first discuss how the brands use third-party cookies.

What Are Third-Party Cookies?

These are essentially a file which is embedded onto a user’s computer. This file collects data on the user as they navigate the internet, i.e. data on which websites the user visits, the duration, and other online behavior. Organizations use these cookies to gain valuable insights into their target markets and build personas that help them improve their products or marketing efforts.

Brands use third-party cookies in multiple ways, including:

Ad Targeting

Brands can use the information from the cookies to serve a person with personalized ads based on their online behavior, such as browsing history. For example, search for ‘toy cars’ on Google. Later, you will see ads for ‘toy cars’ on various websites and other online channels. Without such information, eCommerce store owners will have difficulty increasing or maintaining their sales.


Brands can use the cookies to show a person the ads for a product or service they previously visited.

Cross-Site Tracking

Brands track user behavior across multiple websites to gather comprehensive customer data.

Cookieless marketing will forever change the way brands target their customers.

Why Are Third-Party Cookies Going Away?

There is only one reason, and that is user privacy. Brands use cookies to track everything a user does online. Individuals believe that it violates their privacy. It has prompted tech companies and governments worldwide to act and protect user privacy. These efforts have resulted in the General Data Protection Regulation (Europe) and California Consumer Privacy Act. Google’s decision to deprecate third-party cookies is also due to its commitment to protect user privacy and to stave away the criticism against its advertising business/data collection procedures.

Impact of Cookieless Future on Marketing

Without third-party cookies, brands will no longer have access to vital information. In other words, they cannot perform the functions mentioned above effectively. Brands, without the data, will have a tough road ahead of themselves. Several studies show that the cost of online advertising will increase while the quality will reduce. However, it is not a permanent impact as, eventually, organizations will refine their processes to ensure better results at lower costs.

What Brought Us Here?

What brought us to cookie-less digital marketing? The answer is the brands themselves. In their pursuit of data, they flagrantly violated customer privacy. An Office of Privacy Commissioner of Canada survey shows that 7 in 10 Canadians refuse to share their personal information with a business. 74% have tightened the privacy settings on their social media accounts.

Brands also have created negative customer experiences. For example, whenever you open a website, you are bombarded with messages and popups whose sole purpose is to capture data. An average brand has 50 – 150 third-party tags. It slows the loading time and depletes a user’s bandwidth. Unfortunately, brands have bought into the ‘data is the new oil’ much more seriously than most of us could have predicted. In the quest for data, they have let go of any ethics.

How to Navigate the Third-Party Cookiesless Future?

As said earlier, the deprecation of third-party cookies presents an opportunity for brands. How?

1. Focus on Zero-party and First-party Data

The zero-party data refers to the data which the customer intentionally shares with your organization. First-party data refers to data that the brand collects from its own sources rather than third parties. Depreciating third-party cookies means organizations can now emphasize zero-party and first-party data. This data is much more reliable and of higher quality, so it can help brands considerably improve themselves. The only reason brands refused to focus on them earlier is because they could easily obtain third-party data, while the other two require continued effort. Ensure that you obtain customer consent before gathering any data.

2. Alternative Targeting Approaches

The second opportunity is to develop and test alternative targeting methods. Brands can use zero or first-party data for targeting or secondary data. While we acknowledge that it may take time to develop an accurate method, it is not impossible. The only thing that is required is improvement in zero and first-party data collection.

3. Expand the Strategy

It is time to expand the marketing strategy to new channels and platforms. For example, popular platforms like Facebook, Google, and Amazon generate tons of data that can be used for marketing purposes. There are plenty of other channels that brands can use to create profiles for their customers. Therefore, the focus should be on expanding the strategy rather than lamenting the loss of one data source.

4. Privacy by Design

Most organizations have a reactive approach to privacy. They integrate privacy only when there is no other option left. Instead of focusing on this obsolete approach, businesses must proactively consider how to balance user privacy and collect the required data. The proactive approach can help brands gain a competitive edge over others.


You don’t need to be worried about the cookieless future as it presents numerous opportunities. You can maximize these opportunities with UnitedSol’s help. We are a leading web design and development company in Toronto with considerable expertise in digital marketing, eCommerce, and others. With an experienced and technically gifted team, UnitedSol can guide your brand through the cookie-less future and ensure that you come out on top. For further information, contact us.


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