CookieLaw Blog February 19, 2014

Cookie Opt-Out Stats Revealed

cookie-settingsTrust your visitors, and they will trust you back. This is our conclusion following analysis of visitor engagement with the Optanon cookie settings button and opt-out controls.

Recently Diginomica claimed that, as the vast majority of people ignored their cookie message, it proved they didn’t care.  This mirrors the attitude in several  other articles written about user reaction to cookie law compliance banners.  They want readers to believe that people don’t care about cookies and privacy.

However, we have been tracking usage of our own Optanon product on some sites for a few months now – and the stats we have paint a very different picture.

Here is what we found:

  • Where there is a prominent but non-interruptive notice about cookies, over three quarters of visits will involve engagement in the notice by the visitor.
  • However the majority simply hover over the button, which shows them what types of cookies are in use.
  • Approaching 10% click through for further information, including going to the level where they are presented with opt-out controls.
  • Slightly less than 1% of visits then result in someone actually opting out of one or more types of cookies. 

I believe that this paints a very different picture of the level of public interest in cookie tracking and privacy in general. 

First it shows that if you present easy access to simple information about a privacy choice, significant numbers of people will choose to engage.  As this action involves an interruption to the intended behaviour (why they visited in the first place), this engagement is pretty significant.  

A 10% click through rate would be award-winning engagement for most digital advertising.

However, it also shows that even with a high engagement rate, only a small number of visitors actually opt-out.  This ties-in with other surveys which conclude that people trust websites that are transparent about their data collection practices.

Such findings are at odds with the route many websites have taken of putting up a banner about cookies that disappears as soon as possible, never to be seen again.   Surveys show consistently that people are worried about the data companies are collecting about them online.  No wonder when many companies make it as difficult as possible to find the right information.

What I think our figures show is that when visitors are presented with information through Optanon, that is clear and consistently present; when they are shown trust by being given easy opt-out choices; then they actively engage with the information and then choose to reciprocate that trust.

If you want to show trust to your visitors, then why not give them an Optanon cookie settings button.

PS – if you want to see what cookies Diginomica uses, have a look at: http://cookiepedia.co.uk/website/diginomica.com

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