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Cookies are omnipresent on the internet, making them hard to miss. The definition of a cookie is quite simple: they are small files stored by a server on the hard drive of your computer, tablet, or phone. A goldmine of information on consumer habits for brands, computer cookies also have a direct interest in internet users. What are cookies for? Our article covers the topic.
What are cookies, and how do they work?
What are cookies used for by the internet user? Cookies are the browsing and connection memory of an internet user. They collect and store many pieces of information for the user.
In a way, the cookie serves as a link between a person and a website.
- The usernames and passwords are chosen on websites. Thanks to cookies, login information is automatically suggested and pre-filled with each visit.
- The display settings selected by the user on a website: language, filters, display mode, etc. Display preferences are automatically saved on the site with each visit.
- Shopping carts. On the next login, previously viewed products are remembered and present in the cart.
Here’s a concrete example of how cookies are used for a user:
Paul is looking for a pair of sneakers on his internet browser. He clicks on his favorite site. He selects the pair of his dreams in his size. The sneakers are added to the site’s cart. Paul realizes he has to leave home, turns off his computer, and puts off his purchase for later. The next day, Paul is determined to buy his sneakers. He opens a new session and returns to the same website. His cart is still there, with his pair of sneakers in the right size. He can now buy them.
This is the magic of the cookie. The previous day’s cart is in a cookie stored on Paul’s computer hard drive. When he reconnected, the internet browser retrieved the cookie and sent it to the site’s server, which reconstructed the cart.
What are cookies used for by brands?
Cookies keep valuable information about users’ browsing and consumption habits on the internet. In other words, cookies allow a site to remember who you are and where you click.
Cookies are helpful for several departments in companies:
- Marketing: the information collected allows for a more targeted marketing strategy.
- IT: the data collected by cookies allows web developers to improve site navigation.
- Sales: knowing more about consumer habits helps refine commercial and advertising offers. Note: The collected data may differ depending on the type of cookie deposited on the website.
What are the advantages of cookies? There are many advantages to cookies for both users and brands.
Advantages of cookies for users
For the user, the data collected by cookies is primarily interested in facilitating web browsing. The user’s web experience is personalized and tailored to their needs, thanks to cookies. In short, the cookie makes life easier.
Additionally, the cookie also saves time by recording all of the user’s login credentials and passwords.
Note: cookies can be placed on all internet browsers. For example, Google, Mozilla, Firefox, or Internet Explorer.
Advantages of cookies for brands
The data collected by cookies is helpful for brands in several ways
They help to know their customers better, improving site functionality and user experience. They allow for more targeted advertising. When you browse the web, the ads that appear are directly related to you. This is also called retargeting.
They allow brands to analyze the pages viewed by internet users and generate traffic statistics. Cookies collect information about visitor behavior on the site. This information allows both the effectiveness of the actions taken on the website to be measured and refine the digital communication strategy.
Note: installing certain cookies may be subject to user consent, except when they are strictly necessary cookies, essential for browsing the site and enjoying its features.
What are the disadvantages of cookies?
While cookies are part of daily internet usage and benefits brands and users, their functioning can also have disadvantages.
As an internet user, the more you browse the web, the more information you store. After a certain period, cookies take up some space on your hard drive. But don’t worry, the area used is insignificant and won’t slow down your computer.
When you visit websites containing ads, third-party cookies from sites you have never visited can be placed on your computer. Servers then retrieve the third-party cookies to obtain information about you and better target advertising.
The more brands know about you, the better they can target offers to sell you products and maximize profits. User data collected is becoming an increasingly valuable resource, and methods for managing them are becoming more sophisticated. The hunt for third-party cookies is open, with Google announcing their upcoming removal.
Axeptio provides a coherent solution to meet the challenges of both brands and the expectations of internet users. We have chosen to combine compliance, user experience, and marketing performance. We understand the interests of each party and wish to respect them.
Good to know: cookies have a limited lifespan. For permanent cookies, the CNIL recommends a maximum lifespan of 13 months.
The computer cookie collects and stores data on online consumer habits. It is undoubtedly helpful in several ways:
For the user:
It personalizes their internet browsing experience to make it more enjoyable. It remembers their login credentials, saving them precious time.
For companies present on the internet:
It allows the generation of statistics on website traffic. It allows for a better understanding of internet users’ habits. It allows for targeted advertising. It improves the user experience. The major disadvantage of cookies lies in the ever-increasing quest for obtaining information through more or less legal means. Axeptio develops the most friendly and user-respectful consent collection solution. Our mission is to create a bond of trust that reconciles internet users and brands.