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BizReport : Research archives : July 18, 2007

Study: Users still don't understand cookies

The good news from a recent InsightExpress study indicates users still don't understand cookies. The bad news is that most users know just enough to delete them.

by Kristina Knight

Drew Lipner, VP, Group Director at InsightExpress said, “We were surprised to find that consumers do not seem to fully recognize the many positive roles that cookies play in common online processes such as shopping, secure log ins, and the ability to receive personalized, relevant online content.”

Researchers found the users are deleting cookies because they think the deletions will free up hard drive space or remove ad and spyware. Some believe removing cookies will increase the speed of their computers.

Roughly 85% of study respondents said they were aware of cookies, an increase of 8% over 2005 study numbers, but only about 28% of them during a test deletion actually deleted cookies from their computers. That is a decrease of 7% from 2005.

Rick Corteville, Executive Director, Media at Organic Inc. said, “Marketers need to showcase why having their cookie on a potential/existing customer’s machine is important or needed. As users who delete their cookies tend to delete all their cookies rather than individual ones, it is crucial to show the benefit of cookies on user experience.”

Tags: cookies, online metrics

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