The Impact of the iOS 14 Update on eCommerce Advertising

published on 18 November 2022
The Impact of the iOS 14 Update on eCommerce Advertising
The Impact of the iOS 14 Update on eCommerce Advertising

Apple released iOS 14 on September 16th, and the update has already had a significant impact on eCommerce advertising.

With the updated release, Apple introduced improvements in app loading time, image rendering quality, and scrolling performance- all changes that are important to eCommerce advertisers or digital marketers, can say!

These changes will affect how ads are displayed on mobile devices and how they perform when clicked on by consumers.

With a new look that focuses on gesture controls, the updated operating system will require buyers to tap or swipe across their screens rather than using a mouse cursor.

This could be bad news for retailers who rely heavily on clickable ads as they'll have to find different ways to generate revenue from each customer visit if users are less likely to interact with them.

The latest Apple update has some significant implications for marketers, which is why we're looking at the impact of iOS 14 on eCommerce and advertising.

If you want to stay ahead of the curve when marketing your products, read more about these updates and their solutions here!

What Is Apple's iOS 14 Update?

What Is Apple's iOS 14 Update?
What Is Apple's iOS 14 Update?

Apple has released an update to its iOS 14 (the latest operating system for iPhones and iPads) that will allow users to control how they share their data, as well as who and what they do.

The change comes just weeks after Apple began requiring privacy labels that require businesses and developers to share how your data is used before downloading a new app.

Once implemented, the "opt-out of tracking" will be the most significant change ever to an operating system - in terms of privacy.

Soon your apps like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter (to name a few) will need to ask users for permission to track data about them. And opinions differ on the impact of this change and on who it will affect the most.

This change does not come after months, but years of debate over privacy issues.

From interference in elections to congressional inquiries to general public polarization and mistrust of tech companies, privacy has been at the center of a national debate about the power that companies hold on technology and social media.

Many feel that this new digital world has led to a lack or even loss of control over personal data. This is Apple's solution to this problem.

While most people, whether consumers or tech giants agree that the increase and emphasis on personal data security is a good thing, it has a very important impact on one thing in particular: the personalization of advertisements.

What Has Changed in the iOS 14 Update Concerning eCommerce Advertising?

Since most iOS users are expected to opt for the iOS privacy update and not participate in the tracking, the remarketing audiences will be reduced.

There will be fewer data points available to report and optimize, and overall performance will decrease. Conversions will continue to occur; however, they cannot be tracked.

The effects of these changes are speculation. However, experts anticipate the following:

Limited and Under-Reported Data

As more people exclude themselves from ad tracking, advertisers will drop some of their ability to personalize marketing campaigns and report their results.

Advertisers should demand to see only incomplete reports and are likely to see a significant decrease in the number of reported conversions. This will ultimately increase your overall costs.

NOTE: These conversions may still be occurring, but advertisers will not track, optimize, or report on those actions. Facebook will have to rely on predicted statistical models to account for that data loss.

Smaller Website Remarketing Audiences

As more users upgrade to iOS 14 and exclude themselves from data tracking, the size of retargeting audiences will decrease. This implies that it will be more challenging to reach people interested in your business but have not shared personal information.

If advertisers can't find other sources of information to build similar audiences (think emails or phone numbers), your advertising efforts will likely have to prioritize reaching broader audiences.

Delayed Reports

On Facebook, website event reports can be delayed for up to three days.

Changes in Conversion Windows

Beforehand, Facebook allowed advertisers to report conversions up to 28 days after the click/view. But now, only a seven-day click and a one-day display window will be supported.

NOTE: As a result, advertisers should foresee fewer conversions overall and expect delivery to be less efficient. This could also affect the conversion windows within Google Analytics.

Decreased Ad Performance

Using machine learning technology, ad platforms analyze conversion data to help improve your campaigns.

This process will be more complex with a potential loss of significant conversion data, and conversion-based campaigns may underperform.

Who Will Be Impacted With iOS 14 Updates in eCommerce Advertising?

All advertisers will be affected. But those who advertise in applications, rely on measuring specific actions performed on websites will be the most affected.

Mobile App Developers

iOS 14 update will have a notable impact on how apps are developed and marketed

Mobile app developers should be aware of the changes that iOS 14 brings to the user experience.

These changes can make it challenging for marketers to reach their target audience effectively, especially if they don't provide mobile applications or develop them with these updates taken into account.

App development firms should take note of Apple's new App Store Review Guidelines and other OS updates such as Safari tweaks which allow users better control over cookie tracking.

For example - Google has been accused by consumers of claiming privacy abuses due to its practice of continuing collecting location data from customers who opted out after being told this would stop happening. The lawsuit is not about any particular misuse of the data but instead is about Google's alleged failure to honor its commitment.

Luxury Brands

Due to the iOS 14 update, advertisements for luxury brands will be impacted in at least two ways.

  • Firstly, more ads are likely to appear with Apple's Safari content blockers due to limited space on a mobile screen.
  • Secondly, lost data from location services can no longer be used as an advertising targeting tool.

Apple Users

The iOS14 update has had an impact on all Apple users. Because now they are not going to see Ads based on their interest rather, they will see generalized Ads or based on their search history.

eCommerce Advertisers

The iOS14 update has had some major impacts on eCommerce advertising.

The OS changes in Apple's newest operating system have made location services unavailable to eCommerce advertisers.

This is a problem because geolocation is used for remarketing, which can no longer be done with the new OS updates.

In addition, there are issues of lost data from location services that make it difficult to track consumer behavior or interests at all. Location Services was one component of past marketing strategies - it might need reconsideration if you do not see any other effects outside these two areas.

NOTE: these changes may NOT affect BOTH the following:

●      Android Users

●      People who use desktop or desktop computers

●      Advertisers Using Broad Interest-Based Targeting

How Can eCommerce Advertisers Prepare for the Ios 14 Update?

Apple has made changes in its operating system regarding how apps can gather and share consumer data with third parties.

These updates could severely impact eCommerce marketing because advertisers will no longer use Apple's location data in targeting ads. This could mean a reshuffle of what type of ad campaigns eCommerce marketers are running for their customers.

Advertisers will need to employ new strategies for how they use Apple's location data. That's why we have gathered some of the best advice for eCommerce advertisers as:

Verify Your Domain in Facebook Business Manager

To avoid any problems with Facebook, advertisers should verify their domain in the Business Manager settings before iOS 14.

This will allow your ads on Apple devices to continue working without interruption and exclude you from being classified as publishers when targeting consumers via Apple's location data.

Verify your domains with Facebook; it means that you are officially configured on the platform.

Method to Verify Domains With Facebook

●      You can upload an HTML file provided by Facebook to your web directory to do this.

Set-up & Prioritize Aggregated Events Management

Due to the new limit, you will have to choose the eight events you want to track conversions and then rank them in the Event Manager.

It's always best practice for marketers to keep an eye on all the different marketing campaigns they are running, but now with iOS 14, there might be some new ways in which people interact with certain ad types such as banner ads, video ads, etc.

To ensure success from a campaign perspective, marketers need to consider these changes in the OS 14 update before designating the required resources for each campaign type.

Pro Tip - Remember, as, with domain verification, this verification must be done by the pixel owner, not the partner.

Integrate Facebook's Conversion API With Your Store

To get the most out of your Facebook ads, you will need to integrate them with a customer's experience on your site or in-store.

This is where CAPI comes into play, allowing marketers to sync their ad campaigns with Shopify stores and other eCommerce platforms integrated with Facebook API. This means more accurate reporting, which leads to better ROI.

Establish Your Historical Benchmark Attribution

As with any update to an operating system, marketers and advertisers need to plan ahead of time.

The iOS 14 update may positively or negatively impact your campaigns, so before redesigning those campaigns, you need to establish your historical attribution benchmark as another point of comparison.

This way, you can determine what changes are needed for ads/campaigns to deliver results at parity with how they were performing prior to the iOS 14 release date.

Invest in Email Marketing

Finally, marketers can increase the efficiency of their campaigns by investing in email marketing.

Email marketing is a great way to keep customers happy and engaged with your company's brand and products on an ongoing basis.

It can also be used to help drive customers to your website for purchase.

This equates that if you invest in email marketing, it will lead to more conversions, and many of the leads generated through other channels can be converted by being directed back to your site via links embedded within the emails themselves.

Invest in Retention & Dtc Diversification

Another way for marketers is to invest in retargeting and diversifying their customer base with DTC (direct-to-consumer) methods.

DTC campaigns can be an effective tool in reaching out to new users and keeping existing customers happy.

Frequently Asked Question About Impact of iOS 14 Update on eCommerce Advertising

How apple iOS 14 could affect your sales?

  • The iOS 14 update could affect your app store rankings, which reduces your content's visibility.
  • Your advertising is affected by Apple iOS 14 because it limits cookies and other tracking methods.
  • Apple iOS 14 could also affect your mobile site conversion rates if you do not implement the right mobile responsive design.
  • Apple iOS 14 could also hamper your app store analytics since it prevents tracking by third-party providers such as Google Analytics. Apple iOS 14 could affect your mobile marketing efforts as it reduces the effectiveness of push notifications and email promotions to reach consumers.

Will iOS 14 update affect Facebook ads?

Yes, the iOS 14 update could affect Facebook ads as it limits cookies and other tracking methods.

Will iOS 14 affect google ads?

Apple's new OS can limit your ability to retarget consumers with tailored messages on Google's platform, which is an important channel for many advertisers.

iOS 14 prevents Google from tracking your device for advertising purposes.

Users of iOS 14 can now choose to disable tracking from Google ads, meaning that when they turn off their location settings (on the device) or have an ad blocker installed on their browser, those customers will not be tracked.

In other words, it means that if a customer is logged into Safari with one account and then logs out and logs in with another, Google will not be able to track the customer and serve them tailored ads.

What iOS 14 means for advertisers?

iOS 14 has a new content blocking feature. If an iOS user turns on the "Block Content" setting, they will not see any adverts in Safari or iMessage apps.

This indicates that advertisers may be less able to reach their target audience through these channels and may need to find alternative methods such as Facebook Messenger sponsored ads to reach their target audience.

The OS 14 update also means less of a need to use adverts on mobile apps, as Apple's Safari browser has been updated with an in-built AdBlocker.

Final Words

Apple's iOS 14.5 update will have a significant impact on the eCommerce industry and digital marketing efforts for many brands.

As an eCommerce business, you need to prepare ahead of time with your mobile website or strategy to capture this new market opportunity.

If you are looking to help grow your eCommerce brand to thrive and be ahead of its competition, click here to learn more about our eCommerce Hyper-Growth Strategy!

The Hyper-Growth Strategy is perfect for those who want an edge over competitors by overgrowing while providing a quality product or service with excellent customer service.