Six key features a consent management platform should offer

30 August 2020

Compliance with all its existing legal requirements should be a key feature of consent management platforms (CMP). As stated in the European GDPR and latest judgments, various subjects should be covered by a reliable tool, such as offering legally compliant service texts for user information or different structures for consent banners. According to the general tool functions and to fulfill the demand for documentation, CMPs are built on databases to save the users’ consent history for all integrated services by assigning a random user ID.

Although saving user information to a unique ID does not seem GDPR compliant, it is a basic necessity and the current industry standard for the technical implementation process to meet GDPR or country specific legal requirements for a user-friendly tracking setup. Furthermore, it’s a simple way for website owners to follow the obligation to provide information in case a user is asking for the disclosure and prove that data acquisition has been entitled. This is the reason why most of the existing tools offer the same range of basic functions.

Same, Same but Different

“If all tools are basically the same, it doesn’t matter which one you choose.” – maybe that is true, but when it comes to details, there should be other relevant features than legally compliant service information for the daily business. You should think about these carefully before choosing a tool you will work within the future. Below, we present six key features that are useful for managing user consent and to get the best out of your data.

1. Automatic Translations

In case you work with multi-lingual target groups and websites, it might be useful if the chosen CMP provides automatic translations that are regularly updated. This feature does not only facilitate the process of adjustments according to legal or technical updates for each service, it will also avoid legal warnings and save time and resources.

2. Tag Management Compatibility

Most CMPs already ease the technical implementation process of legally compliant user tracking. Nevertheless, the compatibility with common tag management systems is a must-have to keep the effort manageable – especially for e-commerce shops and bigger content websites. Most tools already use data layer pushes to log the user’s consent status per category or service to the data layer for further usage. By retrieving such information, the existing tagging concept can easily be adjusted without any major technical and strategic changes.

3. Tag Logger

To keep the manual research of cookie functions and their categorization to a minimum, some CMPs offer an automatic detection of implemented services that simplify the banner configuration. Basically, those features assist by screening the website for services and by returning whether they have already been set up within the banner or not. Also, it matches them automatically with the services and given legal explanations to simplify needed adjustments even for legally inexperienced employees. Although there might be smaller service providers which might not be recognized, most CMPs offer a wide range of popular tools within the Google cosmos and beyond.

4. Consent Reporting

As a supplement of the tag logger feature, the consent reporting offers various opportunities to make sure that the CMP is working correctly on a technical level. By monitoring explicit and implicit consents per service, you get the chance to easily detect implementation errors and make corresponding adjustments within the tag loading strategy. Also, the total opt-in and opt-out rates per service might help to explain further analysis in case of arising data loss.

5. Customizable Structure and Design

Although the nature of CMPs is to give website users the ability to choose whether they want to be tracked or not, most businesses rely on user data for performance optimization. So, keeping the opt-out rate to a minimum might be a major goal for content and shop managers. Besides other setting options, meeting the website’s design concept is a must to not confuse or distract users. Make sure that the chosen CMP offers the ability to adapt the code (CSS & more) and gives you the freedom to decide how to display the consent banner.

6. A/B Testing

Even if the legislation could provide a concrete framework for the usage of cookie banners in the future, the industry is currently testing various options to keep the data loss as low as possible. There are already different case studies available, providing a concept of which settings generate the highest consent rate. The problem is that not all target groups are the same. As for most of the decisions in analytics, the only way to know what works best is to test different banner versions and follow the results. Integrated A/B testing features simplify the testing of different consent banners by offering target group definitions and a proper reporting.

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