Your site is like a cookie jar.
There are all sorts of cookies. Cookies with nuts. Cookies with chips – chocolate, butterscotch or peanut. There are chewy cookies, and crunchy cookies, and all kinds of cookies in between. (I hear there are even magic cookies, but more on that later).
Then there are downloadable cookies. When a visitor comes to your site, they have a session ID that expires as soon as they leave your site or close their browser. A cookie, on the other hand, sticks to their ribs when they leave and you can still see it when they show up again.
The ability to see what this visitor viewed or purchased on their last trip can better enable you to be ready for their next visit. You can track visitors and look for trends. Personal preference will always play a part, but if you notice 90% of customers make there way from A to D through C rather than B, then maybe you need to rethink B.
It’s kind of like all your customers like to grab an Oreo on the way to the milk, instead of a Fig Newton. You could do away with B, or make B lead to a different destination, revamp it a little to pick up a share of a different demographic. Maybe Fig Newtons go better with a cup of java.
Cookies can also protect certain portions of your site from suspicious characters. If you have a membership only site, you can automatically recognize users with a cookie that shows they have a password, and facilitate their entry while keeping the multitudes behind the velvet rope.
This means that the average Joe gets some plain old vanilla wafers, and your members get Macadamia nuts and white chocolate. Hey, I’m not kidding, that stuff is pure liquid gold on the tongue, buddy.
The coolest thing about cookies is their ability to let you make a special batch for those special customers. If you know certain customers just can’t resist the up-sell, make it easy with a bakers dozen. If you have some peanut lovers in your ranks, you can specialize in Nutter Butters. You can even let the peanut butter fans see Nutter Butter ads on the Oreo page.
Perhaps the coolest thing of all about cookies is the fact that they give you the capacity to customize your customer’s cookie jar, know when they are visiting your bakery and showing them what they love most even if they are checking out the variety.
You can offer a plain sugar cookie if your customers are concerned about privacy issues, or add a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon for the perfect snicker doodle if they like you to remember their password for them.
These cookies ARE magic. They are powerful and can enhance your customers visit while gathering important data about them that you can use to provide them with even a better experience while tailoring your site to create a higher conversion rate.
Or it will – as long as they don’t toss their cookies!