12 Ways to Christmas #5: No Cookies for Christmas

As retailers transition from pandemic to post-pandemic, we are seeing changes in the online world regarding the phase out of third-party cookies which will impact the data strategies for retailers.  

A strong digital strategy is vital for retailers and recently, the ARA and Salesforce joined forces to provide ARA members with an in-depth webinar delving into how retailers can use 1st party data to drive loyalty in the cookie-less world that we are now operating in.  

Ahead of the busy Christmas period, it is imperative to review your digital data strategy and stay up-to-date with the latest with the latest ‘cookie’ changes. 

To watch the full webinar OnDemand, consider becoming a member of the ARA – you’ll gain access to these data insights and many more! 


What have Salesforce learned from over 1 billion global shoppers?  

Consumers turned to digital in 2020 and what we found was that as the number of COVID-19 cases rose, spending online rose as well. These was a very strong relationship between COVID-19 restrictions, COVID-19 cases and online spending – we saw channel migration between physical and digital.  

In 2020, we saw an 82% digital spend growth in Australia and New Zealand. To put that into perspective, pre-Covid growth was typically around 15-20%. Interestingly, ANZ grew ahead of the global average, which was about 50%.  

We know that there are so many new channels to market. Based on our research, the consumer has an average of 8 channels that they use to communicate with retailers.  

Shopping now takes place across a myriad of platforms, with nearly three quarters of traffic coming through direct or search.  

What does this mean for the holiday season? Salesforce predicts:  

The main theme that will ripple across the holiday is the issues we are facing with supply chain – impacting inventory availability and price increases  
Digital growth will hit record rates, growing 7% globally   
New reality of a Christmas without cookies – which are beginning to be phased out  
The store will become a critical part of the digital strategy, with 6 in 10 digital orders influenced by store experiences  


In case you missed it: Google have announced that they will phase out cookies in 2022 and Apple have already rolled out the changes to their devices. All of this stems from government and user concerns about privacy. 
  • First-party cookies: Help browsers remember key pieces of information.
  • Third-party cookies: Cookies from sites that you aren’t currently browsing. These are the cookies that will be phased out.  
Nearly 50% of traffic right now cannot be tracked through cookies in any case. So how do retailers prepare for the cookie less future?  
You need to collect as much first-party data as you can: 
  • Emails  
  • Hashed email  
  • OTT, connected television

This is data that you own and that the consumer has consented to giving you.  

The three key steps to succeed collect, connect and activate.  

  • Collect – Access to and enrichment of person level data. 
  • Connect – Connecting the various data sources 
  • Activate – Leveraging insights across all parts of the organisation  

88% of marketers say collecting first party data (or small data) is a 2021 priority.  


We are entering the first party data revolution.  

Previously, big data sold the promise of an oracle. You just need data, and AI will solve all problems. It was costly, hard to deploy and can only answer specific questions. 

Now we are in the new data revolution, with first party data being the new focus of all companies. It is the key to success in the post cookie world. It is low cost, has multiple values and easy to activate.  

A key way to provide value to consumers is through loyalty programs.  

  • 60% of companies say their loyalty program members spend 2-3x more 
  • 55% of loyalty program memberships are inactive 
  • Loyalty customers are risky… as there are $100B of unredeemed points annually


Digital Transformation Readiness Survey  

In an all-digital, work-from-anywhere world, discover how you can drive success from anywhere, and accelerate your time to value. Salesforce is offering an exclusive survey for ARA members to help you understand which maturity level your organisation fits into. 

The Digital Transformation Readiness Survey can help you identify and elevate the key blockers and accelerators impacting your organisation’s ability to transform. 

You’ll be able to download your survey results and recommendations to take back to your teams and assess its impacts. 




MST Marquee – The impact of migration on retail

Retail businesses setting budgets and forecasting are understandably finding it difficult to navigate the uncertain economic conditions. Our research can help educate retailers about industry profitability benchmarks, wage growth and inventory levels, so that businesses can better prepare for the future.

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