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Preparing Your eCommerce Business for the iOS 14 Update

By now, you’ve likely heard about the upcoming Apple iOS 14 update, which includes data privacy changes that might impact your business if you run digital ads, or if you have a mobile app on the Apple Store. Before iOS 14’s announcement to make changes to its App Tracking Transparency agreement, users were by default opted into data tracking.

With iOS 14, app developers will now have to ask users for their permission to track their actions across apps and websites. While this only applies to Apple users, this makes up nearly half the U.S. population. If you have an eCommerce business, here are some tips on what you should know, and how you and your team can prepare.

How Your eCommerce Business Will Be Affected

In terms of social channels, let’s break it down a bit. If you have an app and your business runs digital ad campaigns, let’s say retargeting ads on Facebook, then in order to run those ads for Apple users, the user will have to opt-in to have their data tracked on both your app and on Facebook. Facebook has already started to show iOS users a prompt for them to opt-in, in the hopes that most will.

iOS 14-FacebookCourtesy of Facebook

If your eCommerce store has its own mobile app, your developers will be required to ask iOS users permission to track their data. Similar to the example above with Facebook, if users opt-out, then you will no longer be able to run targeted ads on third-party platforms with the data you collect from their actions in your app.

How Your Team Can Prepare

To prepare for these changes, there are a few things you and your team can do to give customers a more personalized experience, even if they choose not to opt-in:

  • Offer an opt-in incentive. If your eCommerce store has a mobile app, offer an incentive for users to opt-in. Consider giving rewards points, discounts, or a free sample. Depending on what state you’re in, there might be some legal requirements around this, so be sure to check first.
  • Build customer retention. If you’re worried about users opting-out, focus on retaining current customers instead. Start a loyalty program to give your customers points towards their purchase, or run personalized drip email campaigns tailored to different customer segments.

iOS 14-Reward Points

New Data Suggest Higher Opt-In Rates

Even though the new update might feel daunting, there is some good news when it comes to opt-in rates. AppsFlyer, a mobile attribution firm, did the math. When taking into account 13 million data opt-in prompts over a span of three weeks, “users opted into ad targeting 41% of the time.” Although this is a small data set, previous estimates showed an even lower percentage.

If users do decide to opt-in, being transparent with what you intend to do with the data that you collect can go a long way in gaining their trust.

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Sources:

https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/how-ecommerce-brands-can-prepare-for-apples-ios-14-update

https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/1/22260274/facebook-prompt-apple-ios-ad-tracking-opt-in-permission-privacy-update

https://www.appsflyer.com/blog/att-opt-in-rates-higher

https://www.morningbrew.com/marketing/stories/2021/04/09/ios-145s-optin-update-coming-spring-heres-means?email=%7B%7Bprofile.email%7D%7D

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