December 7, 2021

Apple’s iOS update: How will this affect my e-commerce business?


You may have heard rumblings regarding Apple’s iOS 14.4 update, but its impact as it relates to your e-commerce advertising may only just be coming to light. Privacy tweaks are nothing new in the tech industry, so why are giants like Facebook up in arms about the imminent slew of changes? 

The update has brought significant changes; perhaps most notably, it includes a pivotal change in how Apple addresses and monitors personal privacy. Apple’s new feature zooms in on one aspect of data collection called web tracking. Dubbed App Tracking Transparency, the update now allows users to opt-out of tracking across other companies’ apps and websites. 

So what does this mean for e-commerce? 

With the iOS 14 update, users are given the option to opt-out of sharing their data every time they download an app. This means advertisers who rely on this data cannot easily target (or exclude) users like before. Audience sizes have shrunk on Facebook. The Facebook pixel is no longer able to store information about these opted-out users for tracking purposes. As well, Facebook reporting won’t include off-platform (e.g. website events) actions from users who have opted-out, but rather only track a small number of objectives because of pixel restrictions, so in-platform reporting is less reliable.