What are cookies and their uses?
Cookies are small pieces of data that are downloaded to your computer or browsing device when you visit certain sites. Shopify uses different cookies, including strictly necessary, performance, advertising and social media cookies to provide the site as a third party service provider. These cookies make your browsing experience better by allowing the site to remember your preferences and actions, such as login and region selection. This feature automatically fills your data when you come back to the site or browse through the pages. Also, cookies provide data about how site users use the site. For example, it gives details if a user is browsing the site for the first time or there have been previous visits.
The types of cookies used on the site and their purposes
The types of cookies we use depend on the work they perform on the site. They include:
- Necessary cookies: These cookies allow users to browse the site, use the site features and access secure areas. These cookies make the site work as it should. For example, we use user-input cookies for the whole session a user uses on the site, which helps us track what the user inputs in any form on the site.
- Functional Cookies: These types of cookies help us to remember user choices and the data they provide, such as users’ login username, language preference or the location of each user. These cookies help us to tailor users’ site experience to their preferences. For example, we use authentication cookies (a type of functional cookie) to allow users to authenticate themselves on subsequent visits to gain access to authorised content across site pages. The following types of functional cookies are used by Shopify on our behalf:
- User-centric security cookies: These cookies are used to detect authentication abuses for a limited persistent duration (like repeated failed login attempts). These cookies also help with the security of the site.
- Flash Cookies: These are used for the duration of a browsing session to store technical data needed to playback audio or video content on the site.
- Load Balancing Session Cookies: These cookies are used for the session the user uses on the site to identify the server in the pool in order for the load balancer to appropriately redirect user requests.
- User Interface Customisation Persistent Cookies: These are used to store users’ preference regarding a service across web pages.
- Analytics Cookies: Shopify also, on our behalf, uses analytics cookies to improve the site. These cookies are responsible for identifying how users anonymously use the site and how often they use it. These cookies are used for statistics only and do not contain any personal data about users. Analytics cookies are collected directly by us (through Shopify of course) and through Google Analytics – a third party tracking technology from Google Inc.
- First Party Analytics Cookies: They are used to estimate the number of unique visitors on the site; to improve the site; to identify the most searched words in search engines that lead to a webpage. These cookies are not used for advertising but used to learn how the site performs and what relevant improvement to be made.
- Third Party Analytics Cookies: These types of cookies are the analytic cookies set by Google Inc. through Google Analytics. Google Analytics helps us to analyse how users interact with our content, such as blogs and articles. These cookies remember the decision taken by users on the previous pages and how they have interacted with the site. To learn more about Google Analytics, see Google Analytics Usage. To opt-out of Google Analytics, download the “Google Analytics Opt-Out” ad-on on your browser or read more in the link provided above.
- Advertising Cookies: These cookies are used for marketing purposes. They help us tailor marketing to users and their interests, and to provide them with more personalised service in the future. These cookies help us to remember when you visited the site, and this information may be shared with our service providers. These cookies cannot identify who you are because they do not collect personal data – only anonymous data.
- Social and Content Cookies: These cookies are placed on your device by relevant social media platforms through their plugins and other tools that are meant to improve the content on the site, such as the service that allows the playing of video content.
The duration of cookies
Cookies can be “session” or “persistent”, which means that they may expire after a browsing session (when you close your browser) or stay longer even after a browsing session. Session cookies do not last longer than a browsing session. Persistent cookies, on the other hand, have specific expiry dates. They could go up to 11 months until they expire (unless you opt-out). Most of the cookies used on the site are persistent cookies. They range from 30 minutes to two years in relation to their expiry dates.
How to block cookies
You have the right to deactivate cookies or block us from setting them on your browsing device. Most of the browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can browse the settings area of the browser to control how cookies are downloaded to your device. You can also see how to control cookies by going to www.allaboutcookies.org.