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 are going to recommend that you follow the EU laws in all cases, whether you legally have to or not, hopefully we wont 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 is not based in Europe so it doesn’t affect me.
– If your customers are international, some are likely to be in Europe. If not now then in the future. The EU is a big market that you wouldn’t want to miss out on if there was a crackdown and website blocking at country level in the future.
- The privacy issues that the public have issues with aren’t related to commercial websites but government prying. We are getting extra hassle when we are not the culprits. This policy should be 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 just 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 regulatory crackdown?
- Even though I have customers in Europe, they aren’t going to come to my town to prosecute me, I am in a different country.
– As previously mentioned, to suddenly have a huge market cut off from your business for the sake of a button and a few paragraphs of text seems foolish.
Actually, you should add the button and a few paragraphs even if we knew for sure that the law would never be enforced.
That might seem like an odd stance for some, but here is why:
Having the cookie consent button on your website is a quality signal that adds perceived trust to your website.
If you visited 2 websites to buy your next batch of online widgets and the price were 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.
These visitors might also thing that the cookie laws are pointless, unenforceable and off-mark, but subconsciously they will be happy that you are playing by the rules.
The new generation of increasingly tech savvy people like to see bells, and whistles on websites. Whilst many of these pop -ups, downs, ins, or outs are discussed as being ‘annoying’ they all work very well to get a message across. Whether it is 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, 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 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.