Zaius tracks visitors using browser cookies. When a visitor lands on your website, Zaius will check for an existing tracking cookie. If one does not exist, a cookie will be associated with that visitor and will register their on-site behaviors (e.g., Page views) moving forward. This information is sent into the Zaius application, resulting in identity resolution, event collection, and ultimately, a single view of the customer.
There are a few things to be mindful of in regards to how Zaius handles tracking cookies:
- Zaius will attribute page views to an identified customer if they click a link in a tracked email that directs to a page with the Zaius JavaScipt tag installed.
- Visitors will be tracked before they become a known customer.
- If and when a visitor fills out a web embed or modal, Zaius will associate their previous anonymous page views based on their tracking cookie. If the email address used in the web embed or modal is associated with an existing customer, this visitor will be identified as the customer. This automatic association also applies to customers that were imported.
- Zaius utilizes customer identifiers such as a customer's email address and the VUID included in a customer's cookie to determine which events are associated with the customer. These identifiers are also used when determining if events from "different" visitors should be merged.
- If a visitor deletes their cookies, they will be considered a new visitor and will be assigned a new cookie. However, Zaius will automatically apply user resolution and merge submissions coming from the same email address, even if different cookies were associated with those submissions.
- If a customer uses a different browser or blocks cookies and doesn't provide identifiable information (e.g., Email address, login information, etc.) in their subsequent visits, their events will be counted as if they are multiple unique visitors. Ultimately, every event is provided a user ID. If the event can't be resolved to an existing customer profile, then it's considered unique.
- If multiple people share a single computer and browser, their submissions will result in unique customer profiles as long as a unique customer identifier (e.g., Email address) is provided. That said, the profile associated with the most recent submission would inherit the shared browser cookie/VUID, and all events would be incorporated into that profile until another high confidence submission from one of the "secondary" users occurred.
Effect on email campaigns
- Email campaigns can only be sent to identified customers. This requirement is particularly important to keep in mind when evaluating behavioral campaigns like cart abandonment. Zaius will qualify someone for a cart abandonment campaign if they add a product to their cart and then do not complete a purchase. However, if the event cannot be associated with a known customer email address via an identifier, like their browser cookie, an email cannot be sent. This means it's likely that you will observe more cart abandonment events than cart abandonment email sends.
Tracking cookie types
Generally speaking, there are two types of cookies: first-party cookies and third-party cookies.
- First-party cookies are stored by the domain being visited, namely the brand’s website.
- Third-party cookies are set by another domain. That other domain could be an ad server or ad platform engaging in cross-site tracking or retargeting of website visitors with ads, but could also be an on-site service, like a chat or login feature.
The cookies that Zaius stores to enable event collection and user resolution are first-party cookies specific to the brand’s website.
For some time, third-party cookies have been subject to privacy and security scrutiny, with concerns that they may ultimately be eliminated as a way to track and target users. None of these recent developments and announcements impact Zaius functionality as it exists today. Specifically:
- Google Chrome’s SameSite update in February 2020: Impacts access to third-party cookies through non-secure connections and requires the third-party cookie to properly identify that cross-site access is being requested.
- Google Chrome phases out third-party cookies in 2022: Impacts the ability to set third-party cookies in Chrome. Google is proposing to replace tracking cookies with to-be-determined solutions that don’t provide 1:1-level tracking, but still allow for targeting, and block third-party cookies by default in Chrome. Google has not mentioned any impact to first-party cookies at this time.
- Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) for Safari: Safari continues to block third-party cookies by default. ITP goes further by attempting to identify first-party cookies that are acting as third-party trackers using redirects/bounce tracking, URL decoration, local storage, and other specific practices designed to enable ad targeting. These methods aren't commonly used during standard site browsing/serving operations. A brand’s own first-party cookies are unlikely to be caught up in this identification.