TUNE has long promoted cookieless tracking. Even before cookies were frowned upon as a storage method by most browsers, we saw the issues with their longevity and its impact on tracking accuracy for pixel based offers (also known as client-side tracking offers). Even back then, users were clearing their browser’s cookies and cache frequently, using incognito windows, or even switching browsers. We used to say, through support tickets and other media, that we could never guarantee the accuracy of pixel offers since they relied on cookies, which were totally dependent on the user’s behavior.
Acknowledging that the cookie was no longer the gold standard of session tracking, TUNE coined the term “postback” and promoted postback tracking (also known as server side tracking). Postback tracking is still the most accurate way to track user sessions because the session identifier is associated with the user’s session on the advertiser’s web property. It can support cross-device tracking (if the advertiser does), stay dormant for years between actions, and still be 100% accurate.
However, the postback has one major flaw. It is HARD to set up. To support server side tracking to the accuracy described above, the Advertiser must build a tracking integration that traverses their entire stack:
- The session identifier value must be captured by the landing page
- The value must be stored until the user is identified (local session storage)
- The value must then be passed through the data layer
- The value must have a column in the user store (or its own table)
- The data layer must also support recalling this value
- All transactions must look up this information
- All transactions must trigger a webhook or callback url
- All of these triggered events must be logged
The process is quite laborious and not natively supported by most ecommerce platforms. Throughout my time at TUNE, I have coached hundreds of customers through this process and it is always time consuming and laborious.
If you are an Advertiser and are interested in learning more about Cookieless Tracking, please contact Sales at TUNE.
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As the Director of Innovation at TUNE, Alex plays a variety of roles: team manager, product manager, and future-thinking agitator. He spends most of his time learning and turning his learnings into confluence documents. He is a recovering entrepreneur, and occasional Canadian. Alex holds a Computer Science degree from the University of British Columbia.