What Are Web Cookies and Why Are They Important For Your Website?

Jordan Barrett April 25, 2023

You have probably seen the cookie popup that appears on most websites. Most people click to approve this, without really knowing what cookies are. If you work in the digital marketing sector, cookies will be a term you’re familiar with. However, a number of web users still aren’t sure what a cookie is and how they benefit their search and browsing experience. 

Web cookies are essential to a website. They improve the user’s experience, personalising what they want to see. Digital marketers will use cookies to help with their retargeting ads, reaching out to those users who have been on the website. 

The main question is what is the job of a cookie and, how can it benefit your website? In our latest blog, we take a closer look at this term and what it can mean for a website.

What Is The Job Of A Cookie?  

A cookie is essential for a business to improve the user experience on their site. Website cookies are small pieces of information which websites store on users devices so that, when they revisit the site, the browser used then sends the information back to the website. They are designed to remember useful information, such as to confirm a user’s identity and their details. Cookies are also used to improve personal wishlists, save shopping carts, and recommend products. For websites which require a user to enter their details, these web cookies will also store their bank details and address if the user has allowed cookies. 

The process of using cookies is invisible to the user who, unless they have selected their preferences to be alerted when cookies are being stored on their devices, won’t know anything about it. 

Are There Different Types Of Cookies? 

There are two type of website cookies: session cookies and persistent cookies. 

Session cookies are there to store the information which a user has entered until they close the browser. When a user opens a new browser, all the information will have to be entered again. 

Persistent cookies have a lifespan. They will store your data during this period until the time expires. These cookies will remember important information, such as previously viewed products, your wish list or the shopping cart the user did not complete. 

For e-commerce websites, the data will be recorded once a user has landed on the site. The website will then place a cookie which records the activity of a user. As a user continues to browse the website, the cookie will receive data and record it. This data can then be used to improve the customer’s experience on that website. 

For example, Amazon uses persistent cookies to record a user’s searches and the products they view. The next time a user logs onto the website, they will notice sections such as “Deals For You”, “For You”, and “Related To Items You Have Saved”. All of these products are shown because of the items the user has previously viewed, purchased or saved.

Cookies For Ecommerce Websites

The most important job of a cookie is to ensure the user is logged in as they browse a different page. Everything is logged for the user to ensure they have a better experience on the website. Furthermore, it can help these ecommerce websites tailor retargeting ads for the user. Again, this improves the overall experience for the user on the internet, even when they are visiting different websites or social media platforms. 

Retargeting ads are something that we at Red Cow Media can offer both ecomm and lead generation businesses, helping to capture data on the users visiting your website and retarget them through crafted advertisements. Retargeting helps to keep your website in the back of people’s minds, potentially attracting them back to your website in the future. 

Did You Know? 

Around 70% of users abandon their cart according to baymard.com. The reason for product abandonment could be due to the delivery charges they have to pay or the user is required to create an account. Another reason for cart abandonment is that the delivery takes too long. 

An ecommerce website will use both session and persistent web cookies. The website ensures the customers’ products that have been added to the cart are saved, with the use of cookies. However, if the cart is abandoned, the persistent cookies would have saved all of the items that they added to their cart. 

Final Thoughts: Are Web Cookies Worth Implementing On Your Website? 

Web cookies are important for the business to know more about the user. These details are only used to benefit the user and improve their overall experience when browsing a website. Furthermore, they are highly beneficial for ecommerce websites, as they remember the users’ recently browsed products. Although a user did not buy the product last time they were on the website, doesn’t mean they no longer want it.

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