Optimize Shopware cookie banner for tracking

by Meike Müller

Our day-to-day business largely consists of store support for a wide variety of online stores. We have noticed that the current version of the cookie banner in Shopware has a strong negative impact on tracking - for example in Google Analytics. To check this, we changed the cookie banner from the Shopware standard to a customized version for one of our customers as a test. If you have any further questions or need help with Shopware, we at EXWE will be happy to assist you - just contact us! And now have fun with our customized version:

Reading time 4 min

We then recorded the change and it looks like this:

Grafik Diagramm Vergleich alter und neuer Cookie Consent Banner

On the left, we have inserted the cookie consent in the standard version and you can see directly that the tracking collapses. On the right, we have now added our optimized consent and the numbers are going up again.

Before, the cookie consent banner looked like this:

Grafik Banner der alte Cookie Consent Banner

The primary "Configure" button highlighted in red takes users directly to the cookie configuration. Options that are required for tracking are deselected and have a negative impact on Google Analytics.

After customization, the banner is placed over the page and must be observed:

Grafik Banner der neue Cookie Consent Banner

The improvement is obvious. In the standard version of the banner, attention is drawn to the "Configure" button. In the customized version, the primary button suggests accepting all cookies. The user is also obliged to take action. Almost everyone clicks on "Accept all".

Note: We cannot guarantee that our customization is legally compliant.

It is important to know that the topic of "legally compliant use of cookies" is in a state of flux and that the supervisory authorities of the countries are currently working on the legal guidelines and these can be changed at any time.

In order to shed some light on the current legal situation, we spoke to Johannes Meibers, lawyer and specialist lawyer for IT law from Münster, and asked him a few questions on the subject.

Rechtswanwalt Johannes Meibers1) Mr. Meibers, at what point is the user's consent necessary when using cookies?

Lawyer Johannes Meibers: "The user's consent for the use of cookies is generally required when so-called non-essential cookies are used. Cookies are necessary if they are (technically) absolutely essential for visiting the store. In this case, they are also referred to as essential cookies. However, there is no clear definition of which cookies are necessary and which are not. However, it is safe to assume that cookies that store the following user information in particular can be classified as necessary: login status, language selection, cookie consent, shopping cart and form entries. Conversely, cookies that are not absolutely necessary for visiting a store are not necessary. Typically, these are cookies that are used to measure or analyze visitor flows in a store. Such cookies are used in particular by third parties or external services that enable the operators of websites and stores to perform analysis functions (Google Analytics, etc.) In particular, if cookies are used to create profiles about the behavior of users across a website or store, they are not necessary cookies."

2. the topic of data protection in the field of e-commerce has been around for a long time and the legal guidelines seem to be getting stricter and stricter. Can you give us a tip on what we should always bear in mind?

Lawyer Johannes Meibers: "As the operator of a store, you should always keep yourself informed and monitor developments in data protection. This applies in particular to data protection issues when measuring visitor flows, using external services from outside the EU/EEA and sending newsletters."

3. we have replaced the standard banner for our customers with a customized banner version that changes the primary "Configure" button to "Accept all". Is it possible to say exactly whether this procedure is legally clean or is it in a gray area?

Lawyer Johannes Meibers: "At the latest since the Federal Court of Justice ruled on questions relating to cookies and consent in May 2020, this topic has felt omnipresent. Consent tools / cookie banners are now used across the board. However, these have a massive impact on the quantity and quality of tracking data. It is therefore obvious that store operators, their agencies and, of course, external services are increasingly concerned with how to obtain sufficient tracking data despite the use of consent tools/cookie banners. This also means that the user is preferably led to give consent when entering the store - just as your solution intends. This is known as "nudging". Some of the supervisory authorities have already recognized this. For example, at the end of November 2020, the supervisory authority in Lower Saxony dealt in detail with the design of consent tools / cookie banners and nudging. They consider such nudging measures to be inadmissible as soon as the user no longer has any real freedom of choice between consenting to and rejecting cookies. However, it has not yet been clarified when exactly the limit of what is permitted is crossed. Until then, I believe we are in a gray area."

Many thanks to Johannes Meibers!

Are you interested in this topic and would like more information or need help with your website or online store? Lawyer Johannes Meibers runs the GetLaw website where you can have legally compliant texts created for websites and stores. The associated blog contains many interesting articles on legal topics in e-commerce. We recommend this article on the subject of cookies.

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from 19.02.2021

Hello, my name is Meike. I take care of the EXWE back office and am responsible for our social media channels. All of our articles are meant to make your life easier and help you make decisions. Nevertheless, it can happen that something remains unclear, so: If you have questions about this article you can easily reach me at +49 231 93149827.

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