Our take on the cookie consent controversy
To be clear, we at Out of the Box Innovations Ltd. do not have any authority or qualifications to offer legal advice whatsoever.
This article is simply a blog commentary on whether you should put the cookie notice on your website from a practical point of view.
Since we’re going to recommend that you follow the EU laws in all cases, whether you legally have to or not, hopefully, we won’t get into trouble!
PS If any of you know of a barmy law that forbids people from telling others to follow the law, please let us know, and we will take the post down. Seriously!
So, should you add a cookie compliance button to your website?
Here are the types of questions/comments that I have come across on the topics, and my responses:
- My company location is outside Europe so it doesn’t affect me.
– If your customers are international, some are likely to be in Europe. If not now, then probably in the future. The EU is a big market that you wouldn’t want to miss out on if a crackdown and website was blocking at the country level in the future.
- The privacy issues that the public have problems with aren’t related to commercial websites but government prying. We’re getting extra hassle when we’re not the culprits. This policy should get aimed at ‘big brother’.
– Write to your local politician? Start a revolution? Rules and regulations can affect your business, whether you think that they are justified or not.
- They aren’t enforcing the rules, and the rules have been around for a few years now.
– Do you want your business to get caught in the first wave of a regulatory crackdown?
- Even though I have customers in Europe, they aren’t going to come to my town to prosecute me; I’m in a different country.
– As previously mentioned, to suddenly have a considerable market cut off from your business for the sake of a button and a few paragraphs of the new text seems foolish.
You should add the button and a few paragraphs even if we knew for sure that the law would never get enforced.
That might seem like an odd stance for some, but here’s why:
Having the cookie consent button on your website is a quality signal that adds perceived trust to your site.
If you visited two websites to buy your next batch of online widgets and the price was the same, which would you choose:
… The site with the pretty pictures, cat videos and general product reviews?
These things can be called quality signals and each one helps a visitor feel more comfortable.
Some visitors may think that cookie laws are pointless. Subconsciously though, they’ll be happy that you’re playing by the rules.
The new generation of increasingly tech-savvy people likes to see bells and whistles on websites. While many of these pop-ups, downs, ins, or outs get discussed as being ‘annoying’ they all work very well to get a message across. Whether it’s an email opt-in pop-up, hello bar, welcome mat, live chat box or a cookie consent box, people love that stuff. It makes your website look modern, and up to date.
The great thing about web-based businesses is that over time, you can publish content that covers every topic. Any concern, question or enquiry that a potential customer might ever have. You only need to write each page once, and it is there permanently. This time frame allows the luxury of satisfying every visitor over time, regardless of which journey they take through your website. The customer is always right, especially when they are visitors who do not ask your direct attention, look after them all.