Category Monitoring, Apple App Tracking Transparency + More

Category Monitoring on Amazon

When it comes to setting up shop on Amazon, specificity when designating your product line is critical to its success. However, more and more vendors have reported that Amazon has changed their product category destinations for products without notice or reason. When this does occur, the product will still be available for purchase on Amazon marketplace and won’t have any immediate impact on advertising campaigns.

The long-term outlook of these changes may have significant impacts on vendors, including higher fees, less than optimal organic and paid search performance and a downward trajectory for gross sales. If you’ve noticed a change in your category destinations, it’s important to act promptly.

For a quick fix, sellers can log in to and use the self-service tool to change a product classification or they can submit an updated flat-file within seller central and can log in to vendor central to create a case with Amazon’s support team.

Unfortunately, there is no permanent way to fix changes in your product category destinations. Ultimately, vendors should continue monitoring their product designations and will need to fix it manually if an item reverts back to the wrong category.

For help monitoring or fixing your product designations, reach out to us at Highlands.

Apple App Tracking Transparency

You’ve probably heard that Apple launched a new privacy feature that allows users to turn tracking on or off anytime for individual apps or for all of them. This move means Apple users will receive privacy prompts asking for permission to track their activity across apps and websites. If users opt-out of tracking, the app will no longer be capable of using Apple’s IDFA identifier to share data about the user’s activity with data brokers or third parties for ad-targeting purposes.

There’s been a debate surrounding the app tracking transparency feature. Those who are for the new development feel that consumers are having a substantial amount of personal information and activity collected without their consent and that the new feature will give users the opportunity to control sharing in a simple, effective way.

On the flip, Facebook has declared the new development as a move that will negatively impact ad-targeting, especially for small businesses that rely on ad-targeting for affordable and efficient ad campaigns. The full impact will depend on how people opt out of tracking, which is expected to be substantial.

However, early data collected from mobile attribution company AppsFlyer indicates that the opt-in rates could be as high as 39%, a surprising twist in what was otherwise regarded as an uphill battle for those who rely on ad-tracking.

Cookies Are Going Away

For years, websites have used cookies as a mode to track online visitors, improve user experience, and collect data to help target ads to the right audiences. However, the way we use cookies today is expected to dramatically change in the upcoming year, with Google phasing out third-party cookies on Chrome browsers by 2022. Here’s what you need to know:

Google isn’t banning all cookies. As of now, they’re working to phase out third-party cookies only, allowing first-party cookies, which track basic data about website visitors, to remain. Currently, first-party cookies are accepted automatically while third-party cookies must be accepted by the web user due to the amount of data companies can retain through their use.

Those whose primary objective is to track website visitors, behaviors, preferences, and basic demographics will likely not be as impacted by this change as marketers that rely on robust data for online advertising.

It’s recommended that those who currently benefit tremendously from third-party cookies should start looking into alternative first-party strategies as we move towards the full phase-out of third-party cookies.

For help with alternative strategies, utilizing cookie data more efficiently and more, reach out to us at Highlands.

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