What is Intelligent Tracking Prevention?
Apple announced its Intelligent Tracking Protection (ITP) in May. ITP limits the use of 3rd party cookies, allowing just a one-day window in which cookies remain available. This has huge implications for remarketing campaigns, limiting the ability to retarget some users to 24 hours after their last interaction with a website.
Who will this affect?
Overall, Safari has around 30% of the UK browser market share, but ITP only impacts users running the latest versions of macOS or iOS.
Currently, it is estimated that 52% of Apple devices are using iOS 11. On desktop, it is estimated that only 30% of Safari users are running High Sierra. This means the real figures are closer to 24% of mobile and 2.7% of the desktop market.
What is being done to mitigate the effect of ITP?
Linking your AdWords and Analytics accounts can mitigate the effect, and Google have also launched the Global Site Tag to unify tracking for a number of products. Additionally, the Conversion Linker tag in Google Tag Manager can be enabled and stores click information in separate first party cookies.
Bing plan to introduce changes that will attribute sale data correctly by early 2018.
Facebook provide an API that allows cookie sharing for users to remain logged in to Facebook across domains, but changes to the social plugin are still under development.
Rakuten, one of Summit’s preferred tracking partners, make use of first party cookies for activity tracking in most cases and these will not be impacted.
DoubleClick will use ‘machine learning and historical data’ to model conversions that can’t be tracked to show the revenue and totals for these conversions.
Apple are working to improve privacy and control for their users, while Google and other advertising platforms are working to mitigate the impact. This risks an escalation that could eventually lead to huge losses in data for the marketing industry.
With users more conscious than ever before of how their personal information is collected and used by advertisers, it is likely that stricter changes will be supported by the majority of online consumers.
What does this mean for retailers
If you have already implemented one of the mitigation tactics described above, or use a first party cookie-based platform like Google Analytics or DC Storm, your data collection should not be impacted by ITP. If your tracking set up is not adjusted to work around ITP, click through conversions from display campaigns may see an immediate and extended decline as users upgrade their Apple products. Cross-device conversions could also potentially see drops in traffic.