The Impact of iOS 14 on Ecommerce Advertisers
As we’ve seen across the news in recent weeks… Facebook and Apple are having a slight ‘disagreement’ over the user privacy changes Apple are implementing in their latest software update, iOS14. As part of this update, Apple will now provide users, via its App Store, with what data will be tracked by each app, and (here’s the killer from Facebook’s perspective) enable users to opt-out of their data being tracked. Facebook have in response launched an extensive PR campaign to say these changes will hinder small businesses advertising efforts and, in hand, its extensive advertising network. Essentially, it’s this little pop-up notification that’s causing all the problems:
And that’s because the Facebook family of apps on your iPhone currently tracks the following:
- We still don’t know how actually these changes will affect Facebook advertisings parameters
- We don’t know how many users will opt out, or what the uplift of use of this feature will be.
What we know will be affected in social advertising
Any advertising campaigns that track user behaviour such as add-to-carts, purchases, lead submissions or a custom conversion will be under-reported, with a proportion of users now opting out. Essentially, all of the below Ad Objectives will be impacted:
The ability to build advertising audiences (remarketing, look-a-like etc) of users who have visited your site will be affected as iOS users who have opted out will no longer go into your previously created audience lists.
Again all of these are for iOS users only – desktop or Android users at this stage remain unaffected.
What do these changes mean for advertisers?
Well the big one is reporting – not only will real-time reporting not be supported (up to 3 days), clarity on what’s working is just going to get harder for all advertisers. You will no longer be able to see ‘breakdowns’ within the ad platform – ie: age, gender, placement etc. This makes your campaign optimisations much trickier.
This is especially relevant when you consider some of the other additional changes Facebook are making, this being; Facebook will be limiting events to 8 per domain (thinking your standard events plus any custom ones), in this instance we’d suggest reviewing what you are currently tracking and culling any events that are no longer needed or you could ‘live’ without.
Facebook is also adjusting its attribution windows (for all users, not just iOS14) – a long standing area of discussion in the ad world. Previously the norm was 28 day click and 1 day view; moving forward Facebook will just be reporting on:
- 7-day click (the new default)
- 1-day click
- 1-day click and 1-day view
- 7-day click and 1-day view.
How can I mitigate these changes for my ads?
As well as the aforementioned 8 event limit, Facebook are recommending that businesses verify their website domain via an admin of the business manager, this is simply done via a line of code which can be copy and pasted to the top level domain of your website. Check out this Guide to Domain Verification for more information.
Based on these changes, we’d also suggest changing your current attribution windows to benchmark the effect on performance moving forward.
No doubt this is going to affect a number of advertisers and businesses, and while the changes are still fluid, its highly likely that this isn’t the last privacy-focused change ecommerce and digital advertisers will have to adapt to.