When the data to track consumers is missing, are sellers still able to advertise?
Last year (2020) Apple mentioned at the Developer Conference that the iOS 14 operating system will add the “anti-ad tracking” function. This announcement seems to be a heavy blow to the digital advertising industry. Due to the opposition of application developers, the delay will not take effect until the beginning of this year (2021). In the face of the huge global market of iOS users, how should e-commerce sellers respond?
This article will first talk about the content of iOS 14 privacy enhancement, and understand the global community leader Facebook’s views on this feature, and how should sellers respond to this update?
- What impact does iOS 14 restrict IDFA have on e-commerce sellers?
- How should e-commerce sellers face it?
What impact does iOS 14 restrict IDFA have on e-commerce sellers?
In the era of data, consumer behavior has already been digitized for analysis, advertising delivery, and even a reference application for brand operation planning. When the data collection of iOS users is no longer accessible, it is not easy to use the App to obtain various applications. Brands or platforms such as behavioral data collection, advertising delivery, etc. will bring considerable challenges, and Facebook is the first platform to bear the brunt, and there are also some changes in the level of Facebook advertising delivery.
Perhaps the App Store still thinks it is very abstract and cannot link iOS updates with Facebook tracking. Firstly, to explain the concept of IDFA mentioned above. You can think of it as an identification code bound to the iPhone (iPhone are based on iOS system, and Apple’s computers are based on the MacOS system), major companies and platforms will use this identification code to track the information of this iPhone user, so when you are on Facebook If you choose not to allow tracking on the App, then this iPhone will determine that websites and applications with Facebook-related tracking codes (such as Facebook Pixel, Facebook SDK) embedded in them will not be able to obtain your personal information through your IDFA.
Therefore, when Facebook is unable to obtain the information of iPhone users, it will be affected in the subsequent operations such as the delivery of Facebook advertisements by e-commerce brands, and what is the impact on Facebook’s delivery of advertisements? See the following:
- Analysis report delay: “Real-time” reports are not supported, and the data may be delayed up to about 3 days .
- Demographic data is no longer supported : data analysis reports such as age, gender, region, and location.
- The attribution period will be changed: the attribution period for advertising data tracking will be changed from “28 days after the original click” to “7 days after the click” , and it will be maintained for 1 day after browsing. This change may result in advertising effectiveness. underestimated.
Attribution time option are now available:
- 1 day after clicking
- 7 days after click (default)
- 1 day after clicking and 1 day after browsing
- 7 days after clicking and 1 day
- Events: 8 events are listed in order of priority. If the user does not agree to share information, Facebook will only receive information about one completed event after the user clicks on the ad (the highest priority event).
- Target audience: The audience size will be reduced, reducing the effectiveness, which will affect custom audiences, remarketing and potential customer development.
In view of this, Facebook took the lead in responding to Apple’s update in the major media at the end of last year (2020). They stated that every month, thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises use digital advertising tools to reach potential consumption. However, restricting IDFA will reduce the accuracy of these companies in advertising delivery and affect the effectiveness of advertising conversion.
According to Facebook’s research, if there is no personalized advertising supported by its own data, the advertising of small businesses may reduce website sales by more than 60% , and it is expected that the changes in iOS 14 may lead to the disappearance of personalized features in the long term.
In June 2020, Facebook Audience Network team also tested “When personalized content is removed from mobile app installation advertising campaigns”, advertiser revenue will be reduced by more than 50% , and the actual performance on iOS 14 ; The impact of the Audience Network may be greater. The effectiveness and accuracy of small companies to acquire new customers through advertising on social platforms will decline, and the ads received by these iOS users will be more random than the original ones.
How should e-commerce sellers face it?
1. Perform domain verification on the brand’s official website
Due to this policy update, Facebook needs to use Apple’s ATT framework to request permissions to measure conversion events that occur on iOS 14 devices. As users gradually opt-out of the “tracking” function on iOS devices, ads for apps and website conversion events Personalization, performance analysis reports, and other functions are limited. The biggest difference is that in the past, “the number of pixel events can be installed is no difference”, and it has changed to “set up to 8 pixel events per domain”, and the priority of events needs to be arranged subsequently (especially the conversion event that is ranked first, when the user selects “Do not allow tracking”, only the primary conversion event you set will be returned later).
When you are creating an ad portfolio, you can only select 8 specified conversion events for optimization, so “domain verification” will be able to confirm which enterprise management platform account has the right to set and prioritize the specified domain. There are two conversion events available , and domain verification can prevent the implementation of ad delivery from being affected by the iOS 14 update in the future. In the future, Facebook will also launch tools to assist advertisers in sorting events.
Therefore, it is recommended that sellers use the following steps to verify the domain (for brand sellers who have multiple business management platforms or personal advertising accounts using pixels, verifying the domain is very important!):
In order to ensure the authenticity and safety of the interaction between customers and the store in the community, Facebook recommends that the store complete the steps of Facebook ” merchant verification ” and ” domain verification ” to ensure the management authority of your website.
After the verification is completed, you can obtain domain verification on the enterprise management platform and further apply to Facebook to use Instagram shopping qualification, manage the content shared by the URL on Facebook, and other functions. For the process, please refer to the following instructions
Domain verification step 1: Obtain the Facebook domain Meta-tag verification code
log in to your Facebook Business Manager.
Domain verification step 2: Add your domain to Facebook Business Manager
Go to “Business Settings → Brand Safety → Domain” and click the “Add” button. (Figure 4)
[Figure 4. Click “Business Settings → Brand Safety → Domain” and click the “Add” button to add the domain to be authenticated.]
Enter your website domain name (domain) in the window, and click “Add Domain” after filling in. If your store homepage URL is https://www.abc.com/, please fill in abc.com in the window field. (See Figure 5)
[Figure 5. Paste your official website URL in the domain name]
Domain verification step 3: Obtain the Meta-tag Verification code
After clicking “Add Domain”, please click on the “Meta-tag Verification” method of this domain and copy the code Content with the middle alphanumeric code. Please do not copy the code before and after the quotation marks. (See Figure 6)
[Figure 6. Copy the code in “Meta-tag Verification” (the red box in the figure)]
Domain Verification Step 4: Paste Meta-tag in “Basic Setting” of your SHOPLINE Admin Panel
After copying the code, please login to your SHOPLINE Admin Panel. In “Settings” → “Basic Setting” on the left, and look for Facebook Domain Verification, paste the copied code (see Figure 7 for details) , It will be saved once you click on update.
[Figure 7. Paste the copied code in the Facebook Domain Verification section]
Domain verification step 5: Paste the code and click “Update”
Please paste the middle alphanumeric code of the Meta-tag verification content obtained from Facebook in the “Facebook Domain Verification” field. After completion, please click the “Update” button in the lower right corner to save the data.
Domain verification step 6: Confirm that the domain is verified
After saving, please go back to the “domain” set by the Facebook Business Manager again and click the “verification” button of this domain “Meta-tag Verification” to complete the verification. (See Figure 8)
[Figure 8. Back to the “Verification” button of “Meta-tag Verification” in the Business Manager]
The domain will be verified successfully at this time! You can find that the red light will be displayed next to the original domain, and it will also change to a green light, which means that the current domain has been verified. (See Figure 9)
[Figure 9. After the domain verification is successful, the light next to it will turn green]
Domain verification Issues :
After when you have verified your domain but the light in figure 9 still is red which means there was an error during the verification. Below are the common issues may occurs during the verification:
- Verification can only be done on custom domains (e.g. https://www.apple.com). If you’re using our shoplineapp.com subdomain (e.g. https://apple.shoplineapp.com), you’ll need to purchase a custom domain to proceed with domain verification.
- If you bought a domain from SHOPLINE and you’re still not able to verify through the Meta-tag Verification method, you may need to use a second method called ‘DNS Verification’. Our Technical Support can assist you through Admin Panel Live Chat.
All you have to do is send in the DNS TXT record to the Live Chat:
Hi team, my domain (https://www.apple.com.my) was purchased from Shopline and I need to add TXT record for Facebook domain verification. please help to add TXT: facebook-domain-verification=XXXXXX
- If you bought a domain from a third party provider and you’re not able to verify through the Meta-tag Verification method, you will need to contact them to add in the DNS TXT record for you.
2. Turn on the Facebook conversion API
In view of the limitation of “web conversion event”, it is recommended to use conversion API first to accurately control data. According to Facebook’s official description , conversion API has the following three advantages:
- Record customer behavior in more ways.
- It can work with Facebook pixels to improve the accuracy of data calculation and optimization.
- Rest assured on event loss due to browser crashes or ad blocking programs.
SHOPLINE is a partner of Facebook. In August (2020), we are officially connected to the Facebook conversion API , which can be directly connected through the “Business Extension Kit”. To simplify, the biggest advantage of the conversion API is that when the official website device or browser is too slow to open the webpage, or the client has blocking functions such as IDFA and cannot capture data, it will be sent directly from the website backend through the conversion API. Providing information to Facebook to effectively alleviate this problem. The domain verification in the previous step is to ensure that the conversion API setting will not be affected.
3. Prepare in advance for “attribution time changes”
Brands can export any required historical data during the 28-day browsing or clicking and 7-day browsing attribution period. Even after the changes take effect, they can still access the historical data through the Advertising Insight Report API.
[Figure 10. “Compare attribution period” function]
4. Continue to operate brand members and cultivate fans
Finally, the management and training of brand members is the only way to fundamentally deal with “privacy protection”. When consumers have a sense of trust in the brand, they will even proactively provide personal information to the brand, and they are more willing to accept what the brand says. Information, content and advertisements delivered.
And SHOPLINE’s membership management system can tag members, and separate members by filtering various conditions, so that brands can actually understand the needs of members, so that brands can continue to be effective with consumers in the era of data which is communication.