The ability to personalize and target messaging to the individual consumer has become increasingly accurate and powerful as digital practices have evolved.

If a brand can understand their audience and deliver the right message through the right channel at the right time, they will be able to introduce their products to the exact person who will use them without cluttering the screens of users who will never be relevant (hence why the algorithms know to venture away from my screens with their sports balls and hockey merch).

However, this advertising strategy has a negative side effect: the increased ability to personalize may result in personal data compromise. Because of the constant updates to privacy regulations, many advertisers have taken two steps forward and one step back.

Obstacles Increasing for Ecommerce Brands: New Privacy Initiatives Complicate Tracking

The latest privacy initiative from Apple calls on users to provide explicit permission for apps to collect and share data by enforcing a Tracking Transparency Prompt (ATT) in the App Store. Apps that do not adopt the prompt will be blocked from the App Store. Long-term impacts will include reduced tracking capabilities and reduced personalization opportunities for users. 

It is expected that this major privacy initiative means that the percentage of iPhone users sharing their unique Identifier for Advertisers with apps will drop from 70% to as low as 10%. 

The core area of the customer journey that will be impacted right now is at the top of the funnel. The restrictions that will be imposed have the greatest impact on our ability to retarget consumers and receive demographic targeting data. There is still much uncertainty about the impact it will have.

Apple isn’t the only company taking steps to give users more control over how their data is used; Google announced earlier this month that with the cookie’s depreciation next year, they will not be investigating a third-party cookie alternative. Third-party cookies will be phased out beginning in 2022. Interest-based advertising cohorts and privacy-preserving APIs, on the other hand, will “prevent individual tracking while still delivering results for advertisers.”

With consumers’ access to brands becoming more limited, it’s more important than ever to provide a great user experience on your site. When it comes to implementing a conversion optimization strategy for websites, we often use the adage that a rising tide lifts all boats. A site that converts well will not only make each dollar you spend on advertising more effective, but it will also help your brand convert visitors into brand fans, allowing you to earn more first-party data.

2 Strategies for Testing Personalization

Brands that can earn trust and deliver great customer experiences will thrive in data privacy compliance – a process that can only be accomplished through an intentional customer experience strategy.

Because site personalization relies on first-party cookies to determine who is viewing the webpage, AB Tasty is already in compliance with the new regulations and immune to the challenges that advertisers face. As a shopper, it makes my path to purchase easier when that ad takes me to a new site where I can easily find what I’m looking for. Conversion optimization has never been more important in your marketing strategy than it is today. Fortunately, there are several ways to incorporate a testing and personalization mindset into your customer acquisition strategy.

Strategy 1: Add a prominent “Email Cart” feature for high consideration purchases. This will help you earn that email address for multi-channel marketing. When we tried this with one of our clients at ROI, we saw a 19.2% lift in conversion rate at a 93.8% confidence level.

Strategy 2: Try a featured testimonial on your mobile cart. Adding a future customer for marketing purposes is a great way to improve conversions someday, but improving conversions is a great way to improve revenue from your advertising today. By improving customer confidence with a strong testimonial at the cart layout, ROI increased one brand’s conversion rates by 6.43% at a 96.5% confidence level. 

While advertisers still have opportunities to be relevant and respect user privacy restrictions, it is expected that changes will continue to roll out with relatively no end in sight. But who ever got into the ecommerce business because they didn’t like change? 

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