Change Is Due For Affiliate Tracking As Cookies Crumble
Digital marketing is currently enduring a great deal of disruption, with Adwords launching new preferred products and the sun finally starting to set on Universal Analytics. All this change means that marketers are having to evolve their goal setting and the way that they track their progress in order to keep up with the competition.
One of the biggest tracking changes that has been pushed back to 2024, is the phasing out of third party cookies on Google Chrome. These are cookies that are stored under a different domain to the one you are currently visiting. This differs to first party cookies which are stored on a single domain only i.e the one you are currently browsing .Whilst Microsoft, Apple and Mozilla blocked third party cookies years ago, Google is now following suit, and given their 65% market share, this is the space where this change will be felt the most.
What does this mean for affiliate marketers?
For the affiliate marketing channel, where transparency on clicks and tracked revenue is key to measuring performance, this means that having robust and up to date affiliate tracking in place is vital to maintaining success and growing. It’s important to keep up to date with the most recent developments and update your affiliate tracking as required.
Previously, legacy tracking solutions in the channel would often rely heavily on third party cookies, which can track across multiple domains and follow a user as they browse the internet. First party cookies on the other hand, only work on a single domain and are set to take hold in 2024. In order to keep up, programmes will need to be using first party cookies in their affiliate tracking in order to adapt to the changing market. Although 2024 might seem like a long way off, making that change now will ensure you are as prepared as possible to grow with the evolving market and stay ahead of the competition.
Affiliate cookies include parameters that allow networks to allocate clicks and commission correctly, give accurate information around transaction values and time of sales, as well as providing other relevant details the programme needs to record. For example, affiliate tracking cookies provide insight on a subscription type or the range of products that make up an order if the retailer has different commission levels for different categories.
Ensuring that you’re still on track
Choosing the right affiliate tracking software and methods is vitally important for measuring affiliate results accurately and thoroughly. A performance marketing channel that does not track performance accurately is no good to anybody, and if you are not able to show your affiliate partners that you value their work enough to accurately track their sales and commission, it will be hard to build strong relationships with them. So, as you can imagine, getting your affiliate tracking right is absolutely key.
For all of our existing clients, and new ones, we will always provide the most up to date tracking instructions to give the best foundation to build an affiliate programme on. We can also lend some help if you are running your own affiliate programme and want to check you are in the best place possible to navigate this change. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call or drop us a message to talk through your options, and the best steps forward for boosting performance.