Why Server-side Tracking Should Be Your Weapon of Choice in a Post-Cookie World

High-quality data is essential for making impactful business decisions. But how can you be sure of the quality of your data if your tracking is broken?

High-quality data is essential for making impactful business decisions. But how can you be sure of the quality of your data if your tracking is broken? 

It’s not your fault—everyone’s tracking is (probably) broken because many of us are still relying on cookies to tell the story of our customers. This is also called client-side tracking. The tools we use to track customer events are simply becoming outdated.

For years, businesses have relied on client-side tracking to understand customer behaviour. This method works by placing small bits of code (often cookies) on a user's device. When a customer visits your website, these cookies collect information about their browsing activity, like what products they viewed and if they added anything to their cart. This data is then sent back to your analytics platform, providing a picture of how customers interact with your site.

According to a recent Adobe study, a whopping 75% of marketers worldwide are still heavily relying on third-party cookies to guide their marketing decisions, and 45% of leaders plan on spending at least half their marketing budgets on cookie-dependent activations this year. However, cookies are on their way out due to privacy concerns, and at least 31% of adult consumers use ad blockers

Hence, ye olde ways of generating precious marketing data are, well, old. But it doesn’t have to be that way! 

Why Client-side Tracking Isn’t Enough

Continuing to track as we have been would be like mining for gold with an ice pick. Because cookies are evolving, this method now has some major limitations.

Inaccurate Data Impacts All Your Marketing Decisions

As we mentioned earlier, at least a third of consumers are using ad blockers, which prevent cookies and tracking scripts from running. This creates a blind spot in your data, leaving you with incomplete and often inaccurate reports.

Ad Spend is Wasted

One of the biggest consequences of inaccurate data is potentially wasted ad spend. Without the correct data for targeted marketing campaigns, there is likely a significant portion of ads your audience never sees, or that completely misses the mark. 

Personalisation is Less Effective

Personalising the customer experience is also nearly impossible if the data that would offer those valuable insights is inaccurate. When significant portions of your audience opt out of cookie tracking, you lose the ability to personalise effectively. Privacy is paramount, but generic product recommendations don’t help your business either. 

Cart Abandonment is a Mystery

Let's say a customer adds an item to their cart but, for whatever reason, never completes the purchase. Was the checkout process confusing? Did customers find a better deal? Was there a bug that prevented checkout? This also applies to retargeting ads after abandonment. With client-side tracking, you might only see data up to the point they added the item, leaving you to do the guesswork. 

Consumers Are More Savvy About Privacy

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of how their data is collected online. Cookie-based tracking can feel intrusive and lead some customers to disable cookies altogether. When they’re constantly bombarded with targeted ads, they’re also reminded of the data footprint they’re leaving behind. 

With client-side tracking alone, you may never know the solutions to these issues for sure, leading to guesswork rather than optimisation. Server-side tracking allows you to uncover all the nuggets of information that can help your business grow.

Why Server-Side Tracking is the Future

Imagine a world where your website can track customer behaviour without relying on cookies or scripts on their device. That is the power of server-side tracking. Instead of placing code snippets on visitors' browsers, server-side tracking collects data directly on your server.

The switch to server-side tracking offers a multitude of benefits for e-commerce businesses, but here are a few.

Collect More Accurate Data

Say goodbye to data gaps caused by ad blockers and privacy settings. Server-side tracking gathers information directly from your server, ensuring a complete picture of customer behaviour regardless of user preferences. No more navigating the mines without a headlamp and only an ice pick—just a clear understanding of how customers navigate your website.

Spend With Precision

With more accurate data, your Return on Ad Spend (RoAS) and Return on Investment (ROI) will improve because it empowers you to make the best decisions possible for your marketing strategy. You can confidently allocate your budget so that customers are having the exact experience you want them to have. 

See Specific Website Engagement 

Server-side tracking also reveals how customers interact with various elements on your website, such as product carousels, video content, or special offers. This data can help you understand what resonates with your audience and optimise your site layout and content strategy as well.

Know the Full Customer Story

Where client-side tracking might only provide a plot summary of the customer journey, server-side tracking gives you every detail of their story—from product views and add-to-carts to abandoned searches and completed checkouts. That comprehensive data can supercharge your marketing powers. 

Quickly Identify Customer Pain Points

Server-side tracking can capture additional details, such as time spent on the checkout page or error messages encountered. This data can help you identify potential pain points that might be causing customers to drop off before purchase.

Personalise Every Touchpoint  

A holistic view of the customer journey allows you to personalise the shopping experience at every touchpoint.  For example, if you see a customer frequently abandoning carts after viewing a specific product category, you can trigger targeted pop-ups with additional information or special offers.  This personalised approach can help nudge them further down the purchase funnel.

Enhance Security and Protect Privacy

By collecting information within your secure server environment, you minimise the risk of data breaches or unauthorised access.

Customer data holds the key to understanding your audience, personalising their experience, and ultimately driving sales. But with great power comes great responsibility—you need to ensure it's secure and protected from falling into the wrong hands. With server-side tracking, you can help protect customer data and respect their privacy. 

Improve Your Site’s Performance

Traditional tracking scripts can slow down your website. Server-side tracking eliminates the need for these scripts, resulting in faster loading times and a smoother user experience for your customers. 

Server-side tracking cuts through this clutter by eliminating the need for these third-party scripts on your visitor's device. Instead, data collection happens efficiently on your server.

Getting Started with Server-Side Tracking

Making the switch to server-side tracking might seem daunting, but fear not! You don't need to be a developer or tech whiz to reap the benefits. There are a variety of tools and services available that can help you implement server-side tracking without any hassle.

Revend combines client and server-side tracking and leverages the power of AI to ensure your business is getting 100% accurate data 100% of the time. Plus, it’s ready to use with the click of a button. Our services take care of the behind-the-scenes setup and configuration, allowing you to focus on what matters most—understanding your customers and growing your business. 

Let’s see Revend in action!

Monitor, track, and analyse data faster than ever before so you never lose sleep over your webshop again.