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The Impact of Cookies on our Purchasing Decisions

What are cookies?

In the dynamic world of digital marketing, the unobtrusive HTTP cookie has quietly become a powerhouse in shaping our purchasing decisions. These small pieces of data, http cookies, are stored on our devices by websites, play a pivotal role in personalising our online experiences. From tailored product recommendations to persistent retargeting ads, cookies are adept at influencing consumer behaviour, perhaps more that we realised.

How are they used to influence us?

Firstly, a significant impact of cookies lies in the realm of personalised recommendations. By tracking users’ browsing history and preferences, websites can present products that align very closely with individual tastes. This tailored segmentation enhances the likelihood of users finding products that they are genuinely interested in. Hence, covertly driving purchasing decisions. 

Re-targeting ads or re-marketing is another cookie-driven strategy, aims to keep products in the spotlight for users who have visited a website but didn’t make a purchase. This gentle reminder, often appearing on other sites, subtly nudges users back towards completing the desired transaction or making another purchase. Highlighting the more subtle persuasions of cookies. 

Moreover, the http cookie can also contribute to user profiling and the creation of detailed consumer profiles. As this data, encompassing online behaviour, demographics, and interests, enables advertisers to craft highly targeted and relevant advertisements. Therefore dynamic pricing, influenced by cookies, adjusts prices based on user-specific factors, presenting a personalised pricing strategy that aims to maximise profits.

Option to accept cookies on website to enable data storage and personalised marketing.
Consequences on our Privacy

However, this pervasive influence has not escaped the scrutiny of privacy-conscious consumers. As our awareness about data security and privacy grows, users are gradually taking steps to reject or limit cookies. Thus, digital marketers should navigate this landscape sensibly, balancing the benefits of personalisation with respect for user privacy.

Should marketers use them?

Ultimately, cookies have a drastic impact on the state of digital marketing. They wield a significant influence on our purchasing decisions, often more than we may realise. Hence, as users become more privacy-aware, the delicate balance between personalisation and user control will continue to shape the evolving landscape of online commerce and digital marketing. 


Gonzalez, R., Jiang, L., Ahmed, M., Marciel, M., Cuevas, R., Metwalley, H., & Niccolini, S. (2017). The cookie recipe: Untangling the use of cookies in the wild. In 2017 Network Traffic Measurement and Analysis Conference (TMA) (pp. 1-9).

Hormozi, A. M. (2005). Cookies and privacy. Information Security Journal13(6), 51.

Mellet, K., & Beauvisage, T. (2020). Cookie monsters. anatomy of a digital market infrastructure. Consumption, Markets and Culture23(2), 110–129.

Shapshak, T. (2022). How websites trick you into accepting cookies. Financial Mail14, 14–14.

Strycharz, J., Smit, E., Helberger, N., & van Noort, G. (2021). No to cookies: Empowering impact of technical and legal knowledge on rejecting tracking cookies. Computers in Human Behavior120, 106750.

Translated Content Engine LLC. (2023). Reject all’ button visible or charge for not accepting: the new cookie rules. In CE Noticias Financieras (English ed.). ContentEngine LLC, a Florida limited liability company.

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