How can websites know what you want to buy?
This is what I found when I login my facebook. I visited amazon few days ago, and I was trying to find a trash container for my kitchen. I didn’t place an order, so when I see this advertisement on facebook, I clicked it. I visited amazon again, and I bought a trash container. How can facebook know that I want a trash container? Same thing happens when I visit other shopping websites. The advertisement of those websites that I visited will soon appear on my facebook page. How can facebook and other websites know what I want to buy?
I used to be confused about this. One day, I discussed why facebook is more successful than Renren (It’s like “Chinese facebook”) with one of my friend who are currently working on computer science PhD program. I mentioned that the advertisement on facebook is more effective than the one on Renren. The advertisement on facebook is the advertisement of the websites that I visited, so I would more likely to re-visit the websites again. I asked him how facebook can do this. He explained to me that every time I visit a shopping website, a cookie will be stored on my browser . When I login my facebook with the same browser (I think most of people use only one browser, so they visit facebook and shopping websites with the same browser), facebook can get those cookies and make the advertisement on the shopping websites I visited.
More effective advertisement- A successful way of marketing
I am an indecisive person. When I buy something, it takes me time to make decisions. For example, when I buy a printer, I will compare many different printers and then place an order one or two days later. During the time I make my decision, advertisement about printers will be the most effective advertisement. I believe everyone is more willing to click on the advertisement of the products that they are interested in. “Tracking people’s interests by cookies” is a way that helps shopping websites to make their advertising more effective, and also a way that helps people find the product that they want more convenient. Ignoring the concern about privacy, I think “tracking people’s interest by cookies” is a successful way of marketing.