89% of consumers feel that new EU cookie directive is a positive step

By Derek Eccleston

Some numbers revealed by eDigitalResearch: 75% of online consumers have not heard of the new EU cookie directive. 33% believe that cookies can be used for viruses and Trojans. 23% of consumers are happy for websites to use cookies to improve their browsing experience.

Of the 2,000 online consumers surveyed, three quarters (75%) have not heard of the new EU cookie directive. And of those that had, only 16% were truly aware of what changes would come into effect on May 26th. However, when made aware of what the new directive entails, 89% of those surveyed felt that it was a positive step for consumers and 79% agreed that the changes were necessary as public knowledge about cookies is limited.

As retailers and brands begin to prepare for the enforcement of the new rules and regulations over the coming weeks, consumer knowledge and awareness around cookies and the use of them is considerably blurred. One third (33%) of those surveyed believe that cookies could be used for viruses and Trojans, demonstrating the need for retailers and brands to make any changes to cookies as seamless and as straightforward as possible.

Perhaps more worryingly, despite surveying online consumers, who should be more aware of issues surrounding this topic, 8% claimed to never have heard of cookies before, whilst an additional 9% did not know that they could disable their cookies. However, almost a quarter (23%) are happy for websites to use cookies to improve their browsing experience.

It’s unsurprising that general consumer knowledge surrounding cookies and their uses is a bit confused. However, once the new rules and regulations come into force, retailers and websites will need to be doing everything in their power to effectively and efficiently educate visitors on how cookies are used, especially those most essential to site performance. At eDigitalResearch, our in-house technical team have created a quick and simple solution to help brands achieve complete compliance with the EU cookies directive for online insight programmes quickly and easily.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 80% of the 2,000 surveyed haven’t noticed any changes in recent weeks to websites that they frequently visit as retailers and brands wait for more confirmation and clarity around what the new directive entails.

Andy Mulcahy, Head of Communications at IMRG, said: “There has been a lot of concern in the industry that the new cookie requirements could prove disruptive to the user experience and lead to potential customers leaving a site through concern at what they are agreeing to by accepting cookies. While many consumers seem to find the whole concept of cookies and what they are used for confusing, the fact that such a high percentage regard the new regulation as a positive step suggests that there is actually a real opportunity for retailers to increase trust and loyalty through a clear, unobtrusive and customer-friendly cookie notification process”.

Survey information

The eCustomerServiceIndex (eCSI) survey of 2,000 consumers was conducted between the 13th and 16th April 2012 using a nationally representative sample from a consumer omnibus panel.

About the author

Derek Eccleston is Head of Research at eDigitalResearch, a research specialist with expertise in online business. The company offers multichannel insight, based on surveys, panels and communities combine to provide holistic insight which gives clients the confidence and evidence to make crucial decisions on product range, marketing, customer service, supply chain and even basic positioning. For more information please visit eDigitalResearch or email info@edigitalresearch.com.

About IMRG

IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) is the UK’s industry association for e-retail. Formed in 1990, IMRG is setting and maintaining pragmatic and robust e-retail standards to enable fast-track industry growth, and facilitates its community of members with practical help, information, tools, guidance and networking. Consumers can be confident when dealing with IMRG Members because all interact in an environment where they are encouraged to operate using methods that are Honest, Decent, Legal, Truthful and Fair, and have undertaken to not bring the industry into disrepute. The strength of IMRG is the collective and cooperative power of its members. For more information please visit IMRG or email membership@imrg.org.

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