Rxpaola1925's Blog

March 13, 2010

Are Cookies used to track sales?(my class 3)

Filed under: my BUS.IT 5 class — rxpaola1925 @ 8:43 am

A cookie (also tracking cookie, browser cookie, and HTTP cookie) is a small piece of text stored on a user’s computer by a web browser. A cookie consists of one or more name-value pairs containing bits of information.

The cookie is sent as an HTTP header by a web server to a web browser and then sent back unchanged by the browser each time it accesses that server. A cookie can be used for authentication, session tracking (state maintenance), storing site preferences, shopping carts contents, the identifier for a server-based sessions, or anything else that can be accomplished through storing textual data.

You’ve may have heard that it takes 7 exposures to a product before people feel comfortable to buy that product. So what happens if a visitor from your site clicks through to your affiliated merchant site today but doesn’t buy anything until a week later? Will you still get credit for the sale?

As text, cookies are not executable. Because they are not executed, they cannot replicate themselves and are not viruses. Due to the browser mechanism to set and read cookies, they can be used as spyware. Anti-spyware products may warn users about some cookies because cookies can be used to track people or violate privacy concerns.

Well, cookies are coded to expire after a set amount of time. So, if the merchant gives cookies that last for 90 days, you get credit if a visitor from your site returns to the merchant and makes the purchase within 90 days. If your visitor purchases the product after the 90 days, and the cookie has expired, you’re out of luck. You won’t get credit for the sale.


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