Well, I’ve never claimed to be the techie half of T & T Web Design, but I consider myself to be a constant user of online services, whether they are social media platforms or shopping for home, friends & family. But my biggest bug bear, as a normal “Joe Public” user, has to be the Marketing Cookies!
Don’t get me wrong, as a small IT company whose core business is S.E.O (Search Engine Optimisation..for the layperson ) we know that cookies are a major help for companies wanting to know who their prospective customers are, their requirements & where they’re searching from. Afterall, how can you appeal to your customer base if you don’t know what draws them in, resulting in sales?! But, personally, my biggest bug bear is on the subject of “Consent” & the “Right to Refuse”, which is something that should be extremely important to us all.
Every time we feel pressed into accepting “Cookies”, just to access ANY site, there’s that feeling of being an unwanted, prospective customer, and can ANY business really afford to turn business away, especially in these current economic climes!! Do we really want to have that feeling of our every movement being spied on, tracked, followed?! I think that it’s almost feeling like we’ve got a stalker and we’ve said that we’re okay with that, but we were forced into it because there wasn’t a “Right to Refuse or Reject”, and we really needed the items we were perusing.
Barrage of Marketing Cookies
So, those are my feelings, in a nutshell, of how the barrage of Marketing Cookies are, and can be a negative experience for the end user, but also for some businesses too! Sometimes, businesses can be so consumed chasing customers that they don’t always stop to consider how their hardcore marketing strategies can push prospective customers away too.
For a website to work its magic, it has to also have some flexibility and kindness towards those they hope to attract, so they would all do so much better if they had a decent “Right to Refuse or Reject”, and meant it.
Some newspapers have the “Consent” or “Reject All”, but the reject option is never available long enough or seems to accept your rejection, but how do you know for sure that its default doesn’t instantly switch to “Consent” instead?! Where’s the acknowledgement that your wishes, if you “Reject”, have been accepted?!
I Won’t be Coerced
A few days ago, I was online and wanted to play a so-called “free games platform”, which I won’t mention by name, but I’ve had it on my home PC for a few years now without any issues. Recently, they have stated that I can no longer play their free game on their platform without giving them consent to put cookies on my PC!! Well, this is the type of coercion that I, personally, won’t fall for.
So it’s a programme that will be deleted from my PC forthwith. But their cookies are to do with advertising, but if I’m there to unwind and play a quick game, (Mahjong, in my case, haha) then I’m not really in the mind to purchase anything anyway. So why must I be subjected to adding cookies, half of which are just spyware and using up storage on my PC!! We are all blighted by advertising everywhere anyway, so why has it reached fever pitch to the point of excluding users now when they still run normal adverts anyway?!
For the past few years now, whilst on social media platforms, I’ve seen many different adverts pop up and thought, “ooooh, that’s lovely….I’ll go take a look and if it seems good value for money, I’ll buy it”, being a woman, it happens quite a lot, doesn’t it, Ladies 😉 But when you’re greeted with the “Must Accept Cookies”, barrage, it suddenly hits you that you need to turn away.
The Right to Choose or Refuse
I have, personally, saved my hubby lots of money due to this, haha, so I wonder how many others have done exactly the same as me?? I’ve been looking at the Summer fashions that are starting to appear now….what lady doesn’t want some nice summer tops etc, ready to greet the sunshine when it arrives?! Well, a very famous, hip and trendy website lost out on what could’ve been a lucrative sale for themselves, only yesterday too. And all because their only option was to “Accept Cookies”…..what a waste of a prospective customer, and I could’ve been one of many!!
My summation is that not all of us want “Cookie Blackmail, Manipulation, Coercion”, which really, is what it boils down to, especially if you do not offer an alternative, a “Reject or Refuse”, with an acknowledgement of the choice you opted for and a right to change your mind at any point in time.
Surely people should have the right to browse, peruse, without ultimatums too?! I, personally, don’t want my habits monitored so something else can be pushed under my nose! I know what I want and what I like, half the fun of shopping is to be able to change our minds, look at other things that we may have walked away from initially. But it should always be Our Choice, not an algorithm, just because a Marketing Exec wants it all their way!!
I just don’t think that there’s enough emphasis on Choice….My Choice if “Cookies” are a must, is to generally click away from that site, because it’s trying to usurp my choices…which it has already done by excluding my freedom to browse or purchase from them. But it’s all about our principles too. We know that to blackmail another human being carries a prison sentence, so why doesn’t the law apply exactly the same when dealing with on-line accessibility to shop?! I think that’s a valid question, but when will the said “powers that be” realise there’s a flaw that needs rectifying when it comes to on-line “Cookie” and “Advertising” policies???
I just want to add that I’m aware that the blight of “Cookie Consent Policy” is an EU Policy, which is ok when used correctly, but it’s about looking at the downside of excluding people or blackmailing them into compliance for their own marketing ends…