How iOS 14 May Effect Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy

May 5, 2021

With growing concerns surrounding consumer privacy, Apple announced a plan to add a layer of protection for their users in their new iOS 14 update. Apple made the announcement in 2020 that the new iOS 14 update was scheduled to roll out in Spring 2021. The news of the policy changes alerted businesses and marketers alike as, “Apple’s move to tighten privacy protections means stricter limitations on targeted ads, data sharing, and reporting capabilities for app users”. This week, Apple began releasing their highly anticipated iOS 14 update to their users. 

What are the policy changes in iOS 14?

The update initiates Apple’s new “App Tracking Transparency” feature - a framework for Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) - which will alert users with a pop-up notification offering them the option to opt-in or opt-out of activity tracking and data sharing. The update will no longer allow iOS 14 users to automatically default to opt-in without permission. Apple shared that their users will be able to go into their “settings” and change whether they choose to opt-in or out of tracking at any time for any app. As the update continues to roll out to Apple users, more and more people will begin to receive this pop-up message while opening apps on their iPhones and iPads. 

What does this mean for brands?

While this new policy will only affect Apple product users, about half of the U.S. population owns an iPhone and according to a survey, 97% of Americans are somewhat very concerned about protecting their personal data.

This change brings concerns to brands who share customer data with third party providers and who rely heavily on personal data for ad targeting. Now that users have the option to opt-out of tracking, there will be less data available for custom-targeting, measuring ad performance, and for building audiences based on new customer acquisition. 

Ad platforms such as Facebook and Google will be restricted in what they can and cannot track. With less personalized data provided by these platforms, businesses will have to shift their advertising strategy to find new ways to collect data from their customers. 

While this new policy will only affect Apple product users, about half of the U.S. population owns an iPhone

How to shift your ads and marketing strategy (list provided by Shopify Plus)

While these changes will require businesses to restructure their advertising and marketing strategies, Shopify Plus is sharing actions your business can take to optimize your ad spend and continue to deliver a personalized experience to users.

  • Focus on building your customer database and improving customer retention
  • Offer a ‘carrot’ to opt-in
  • Monitor return on ad spend (ROAs) and adjust budget allocation as necessary
  • Experiment with different ad types and copy
  • Be clear about your actions and intentions for your customers who do choose to opt-in

— News

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