Consumer Privacy & Ecommerce Trends, Stats, & News [October 2021]

Adhering to consumer data privacy regulations and being transparent about what you do with consumer data aren’t just choices anymore – they’re necessary.

New data privacy regulations will continue emerging as consumer data continues to be utilized in new ways for targeting and personalization. While this may introduce new roadblocks or concerns for brands in the short-term, the long-term benefits shouldn’t be forgotten.

79% of Americans feel concerned about how their data is being used by companies.

The enforcement of these rules will make it easier for consumers to trust brands, especially as we move forward in an age where brand trust will only be increasing in importance.

Stay tuned to this article as we keep it updated with the latest stats, trends, news, and more around consumer privacy initiatives and the impact on your ecommerce brand.


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October 13

Digital payment growth increases threat of cybersecurity

Over 1 billion data branches occurred in the US last year, with nearly 156 million records being exposed. One out of every four consumers experienced fraud. And 43% of consumers don’t believe they can adequately protect their personal data today.

As data and privacy become bigger concerns, consumers are also increasingly trying new payment methods, such as paying with installments instead of all at once through AfterPay integrations on ecommerce websites, using contactless digital wallets like Apple Pay to shop in stores, or even ordering food online through new platforms.

90% of consumers have used at least one emerging payment method since the beginning of the pandemic.

As with any rapid growth, as retailers try to keep up with consumers’ changing expectations, there are also business-level considerations that are crucial to remember. Consumers’ increased openmindedness to trying new things brings a lot of benefits for brands, but growing alongside that are the possible opportunities for malicious attackers to steal your business’ and/or consumers’ data.

With 2/3 of the consumers who have tried at least one emerging payment method in the last year doing so for the first time, ecommerce brands have even more reason to ensure they’re complying with the growing list of digital privacy laws.

October 6

How privacy initiatives are impacting organizations today

Brands and retailers large and small no longer have much of a choice about how they approach privacy. Adhering to consumer data privacy regulations and being transparent about what your brand does with consumer data are mandatory now.

Organizations are reimagining how they collect and leverage data throughout all stages of the customer lifecycle. Here are the latest stats from Cisco on how security professionals at a range of US companies say current privacy initiatives are impacting their organization:

  • 79% of organizations say privacy laws are having a positive impact, with 5% of organizations saying the laws have a negative impact
  • Only 41% of organizations were prepared for last year’s shift to working from home last year from a privacy and security perspective.
  • 34% of security professionals say data privacy is one of their core responsibilities.
  • Building trust is the top benefit of privacy initiatives for 76% of security professionals, followed by mitigating security losses and achieving operation efficiency at 74% and enabling innovation and making the company more attractive at 73%.
  • 68% of security professionals say privacy initiatives help reduce sales delays.
  • The overall value of the benefits of implementing privacy and security initiatives rose 10% to $2.9 million last year.
  • 90% of organizations say a shopper will not buy from them if they aren’t clear about their data practices.

September 29

Ecommerce data privacy stats

  • Just 10% of consumers feel they have total control over their personal information. (PwC)
  • 62% of Americans don’t believe it’s possible to go through daily life without companies collecting data on them. (Pew Research Center)
  • 79% of Americans are concerned about how their data is being used by companies. (Pew Research Center)
  • 92% of Americans are concerned about their privacy when they use the Internet. (TrustArc)
  • 97% of companies have seen benefits like a competitive advantage or investor appeal from investing in privacy. (Cisco)
  • More than 40% of companies see benefits at least twice that of their privacy spend. (Cisco)

September 22

How marketers say privacy regulations are impacting their data strategies

Executives and marketers at companies around the world have been adjusting their strategies to meet the constantly shifting demands of high-stakes privacy regulations. Not complying with these new privacy laws can have serious financial consequences.

In fact, Facebook’s WhatsApp was recently fined $270 million for breaching the GDPR.

How are privacy regulations impacting how companies execute their data strategies?

For 39% of companies, the introduction of new privacy laws resulted in limited information collected or included in customer profiles. 31% of companies now ask customers for less data, while 29% have lowered their social media advertising spend. 27% of companies have appointed a chief data officer.

Increased transparency around data use, new internal standards for data collection and use, and new ad channels/platforms are the top three ways that marketers say privacy regulations have influenced their company’s data strategy, at 57%, 54%, and 41% respectively.

September 14

Apple’s iOS 14.8 update addresses critical security concerns

Apple released a critical security upgrade this week with iOS 14.8 to address vulnerabilities in Apple’s CoreGraphics framework and WebKit browser. Apple believes that the two vulnerabilities were already being exploited by the time the update was released on September 13.

Apple recommends that iPhone users update their devices immediately to avoid being affected.

The CoreGraphics vulnerability is what’s called a zero-click exploit, meaning that no interaction is needed from the user to malware to be downloaded onto their device. Processing a PDF created by a malicious party would be enough for dangerous code to be executed. The WebKit vulnerability involves processing malicious web content.

Apple’s iOS 15 update is expected to be rolled out at today’s Apple Event along with the iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7, and more.

September 8

Stats: How privacy transparency contributes to higher trust

Privacy-related initiatives can cost a lot of money, and it’s not always easy to walk the line of transparency. But with consumer trust in your brand of higher importance than ever, doing whatever it takes to win over a shopper is worth it.

Here are the latest stats around consumer privacy for ecommerce brands and how it plays a crucial role in trust:

  • 88% of consumers say their willingness to share personal information is based on how much they trust a company. (PwC)
  • 54% of consumers say it’s harder than ever for a company to earn their trust. (Salesforce)
  • 84% of consumers are more loyal to companies with stronger security controls. (Salesforce)
  • 63% of consumers say most companies are not transparent with them about how their data is used. (Tableau)
  • 54% of consumers believe companies aren’t using their data in a way that benefits them. (Tableau)
  • 48% of consumers have stopped buying from a company over privacy concerns. (Tableau)
  • 60% of Americans believe there are ethical ways companies can use personal information. (RSA)
  • Only 15% of consumers believe companies will use their personal data to improve their lives. (PwC)
  • Only 15% of consumers believe companies will use their personal data to improve their lives. (PwC)

September 1

How cookie deprecation will impact your customers

By late 2023, cookies will be completely phased out on Chrome. The change will have a major impact on how brands market to shoppers – but how will the shoppers themselves be impacted?

One major concern with the disappearance of third-party cookies is the decline of personalization. 55% of digital marketers believe the changes will lead to less personalized consumer experiences.

50% of digital marketers say privacy concerns will persist even after cookies go away.

62% of digital marketers say that third-party cookie deprecation will not help consumers, while 63% believe it will result in little to no improvement in consumers’ control over their personal data.

August 25

Ecommerce marketing strategies to comply with privacy regulations

In order to comply with high-stakes privacy regulations, brands and retailers have had to adjust their marketing strategies in smart and unique ways. How have digital marketing strategies been impacted the most?

57% of digital marketers say their company has increased transparency around data use as a result of the introduction of new privacy laws, and 54% say their company has created new internal standards for data collection and use.

41% of digital marketers have considered adopting new advertising channels and/or platforms to align with new privacy regulations.

The introduction of new privacy laws resulted in reduced customer tracking for 39% of companies and changed or reduced audience targeting for 32% of companies. 27% of digital marketers say their company has lowered social media ad spend in response.

August 18

How considered are consumers about their data privacy?

Consumers are becoming more concerned about their online privacy. According to a survey taken in March 2021, 52.4% of consumers are somewhat more or much more concerned about their online privacy than they were a year ago.

More than half of consumers are more concerned about their online privacy than they were one year ago.

While 39% of consumers say they have maintained the same level of concern about their online privacy over the past year, 20.5% of consumers say they’re much more concerned about their online privacy compared to one year ago. Only 8.6% of shoppers say they’re less concerned.

August 11

New report: Programmatic advertising in a cookieless world

Since the dawn of digital, marketing strategies have relied on cookies as a proxy for identity. But the world of marketing is changing. The departure of browser-based tracking is upon us.

By late 2023, Google will phase out third-party cookies running on Chrome and transform how brands track, target, and engage with customers.

In other words, web tracking as we know it is going away. But right now, programmatic buyers rate their organizations’ readiness for cookie deprecation at only 3.5 on a scale of 1-5. Is your brand prepared? In this white paper, you’ll uncover insights like:

  • The who, what, and when behind the impact of third-party cookie deprecation
  • Unexpected opportunities to drive targeted campaigns once cookies go away with programmatic advertising
  • How brand executives and marketers like you plan to profitably navigate a post-cookie world

Lift the cloud of confusion around the cookieless future and make sure your programmatic strategy is equipped to handle the changes. Claim your copy today.

August 4

Post-cookie strategies for success

The cookie may be crumbling, but all is not lost for brands and publishers who rely on digital efforts to drive their business forward. While the world of attribution and tracking is being turned upside down by the deprecation of third-party cookies, some things will stay the same after cookies are deprecated in late 2023.

Brands and publishers will still have access to audience data like identity graphs, cohorts, household-level data, and contextual data. Of course, first-party data will also remain available, along with second-party data and consented third-party data.

Consumers spend a lot of time in cookieless environments via mobile apps, and that’s not going to change. While mobile apps are facing separate privacy initiatives like Apple’s iOS 14.5 update, they won’t be impacted by the changes to cookies. With mobile traffic now surpassing desktop traffic, the impact of cookie deprecation will be less detrimental for brands that can rely on a highly optimized mobile strategy.

The value of well-curated, original content also won’t change. Embracing organic initiatives like SEO and email marketing is one way to have the upper hand in a world without third-party cookies.

July 28

New infographic: Programmatic advertising in the era of cookieless

Google recently announced that third-party cookie deprecation will occur in late 2023, a significant push from the original early 2022 timeline. The delay will provide some relief to advertisers and publishers. In October 2020, programmatic buyers rated their organizations’ readiness for cookie deprecation at only 3.5 on a scale of 1-5.

In this infographic, you’ll uncover data and stats about post-cookie attribution and targeting for programmatic, strategies brands are using to navigate the loss of cookies, and how cookie deprecation will impact ecommerce and brands that use programmatic advertising. You’ll uncover answers to questions like:

  • How do marketers and decision-makers plan to measure targeted advertising after cookies go away?
  • What are the top challenges digital media professionals are facing in 2021?
  • Are digital advertisers ready for third-party cookie deprecation?

Access the infographic here!

July 21

Third-party cookies to be deprecated by late 2023

Last month, Google announced that the deprecation of third-party cookies will be delayed until late 2023 after previously planning for early 2022. According to a blog post from Google, “more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right.”

Third-party cookies will be completely phased out on Chrome over a three-month period starting in mid-2023 and ending in late 2023.

With global initiatives to protect user privacy online intensifying, delaying the shift away from cookies will help ensure the right decisions are made to keep consumer data secure and avoid covert practices.

Marketing strategies have relied on cookies as a proxy for identity since the dawn of digital. With Chrome having nearly 70% of the market share for browsers, this shift will have a huge impact on how brands track, target, and engage with customers.

Third-party cookies provide data about a shopper’s interests, past purchases, frequently visited websites, and more. Any brand that uses data for online advertising and targeting will be impacted by Google’s decision to phase out third-party cookies on Chrome.

July 14 update

Consumer privacy + cookieless

Since the dawn of digital, marketing strategies have relied on cookies as a proxy for identity. But the world of marketing is changing. The departure of browser-based tracking is upon us.

By late 2023, Google will phase out third-party cookies running on Chrome and transform how brands track, target, and engage with customers.

In other words, web tracking as we know it is going away.

Adhering to consumer data privacy regulations and being transparent about what your brand does with consumer data is no longer a choice. Brands large and small will need to reimagine how they collect and leverage data throughout all stages of the funnel, from new customer acquisition to remarketing. Attribution, unique visitor counting, and retargeting will all change when cookies go away.

Third-party cookies provide data about a shopper’s interests, past purchases, frequently visited websites, and more. Any brand that uses data for online advertising and targeting will be impacted once the third-party cookie shoe drops.

July 7 update

Apple’s iOS 14.5 update: Impact on ecommerce brands

Apple’s iOS 14.5 update took place in April 2021 and shook things up for any brand advertising through an iPhone app.

With iOS 14.5, Apple requires users to provide explicit permission for apps to collect and share data through their unique Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). The Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) is a random identifier assigned to each iOS user that advertisers use to deliver personalized ads. It is also used for tracking and attribution.

To collect permission, Apple is enforcing a Tracking Transparency Prompt (ATT) in the App Store. Apps that do not adopt the prompt will be blocked from the App Store. Long-term impacts will include reduced tracking capabilities and reduced personalization for users.

The percentage of iPhone users sharing their unique Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) with apps is expected to drop from 70% to as low as 5%.

For Facebook advertisers, the update means seven-day click reporting won’t include data for users who have opted out. For users who opt out of tracking, data will only be gathered around their highest-priority event using a one-day click attribution model.

For brands pushing paid search campaigns on Google, budgets, targets, or bids should be adjusted and campaign performance and delivery should be closely monitored to stay on track with goals.

June 30 update

Consumer privacy concerns: Just the stats

  • 84% of shoppers want more control over how their data is being used (Cisco)
  • 79% of Americans feel concerned about how their data is being used by companies (Pew Research)
  • 54% of consumers say companies don’t use data in a way that benefits them (Tableau)
  • 96% of Americans say more should be done to ensure companies protect consumer privacy (Consumer Reports)
  • 40% of consumers say privacy around the apps they use is very important (McKinsey)

June 24 update

Consumer privacy in 2021: Where we stand now

Some of the biggest privacy initiatives impacting marketers leading up to 2021 are the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA).

Failing to adhere to these privacy protection regulations can have dire consequences for brands. Businesses can be penalized large amounts of money by courts or sued by individual consumers.

First effective in 2018 and 2020 respectively, the GDPR and CCPA will remain important for brands who use consumer data in marketing efforts. CPRA regulations aren’t yet in effect.

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): Lays out seven key principles for businesses that collect consumer data in the EU: lawfulness, fairness, and transparency; purpose limitation; data minimization; accuracy; storage limitation; integrity, confidentiality, & security; and accountability.
  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA): Gives consumers the right to know what personal information of theirs is being collected, used, shared, or sold, the right to delete personal information held by businesses, and the right to opt out of sale of personal information, among others.
  • California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA): An extension of the CCPA that adds new criteria for which businesses are regulated, a new category of sensitive personal information, new and modified consumer privacy rights, and more. California voters approved its creation in November 2020 and measures will go into effect in January 2023.

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