What are cookies online and what do they mean for shopping?

When we answer the question what are cookies online, we may associate these with those delicious chocolate chip ones your favourite aunty bakes. Online delights you say? Well, in the language of the computer-verse, cookies are not so edible. In fact, they store limited information from a web browser. This means that the web browser session can be retrieved in future. 

Of course, this makes it much easier for online shoppers like you. Say you’ve searched ‘Takealot’ and have created login credentials. But the oven is burning, you have a million things to do, and your shopping quest is abandoned. You don’t have to go through the whole rigmarole when you log on again. Cookies will tell the server you’ve returned, and voila – you’ll see your shopping cart contents and user preferences. 

What are cookies online, and how do they enhance your online shop? 

When you ask what are cookies online, know that you’re not alone. There are a lot of valid questions from cautious online shoppers. Let’s look at a cookie’s benefits:


Cookies allow e-commerce websites to personalise the user experience. Cookies ‘remember’ user preferences, such as language settings, and tailor website content. You’ll get a more customised shopping experience.


Cookies are the golden retrievers of coding. They allow storing previously provided information, such as shipping addresses and payment details. This saves a lot of time and effort for customers. Moreover, cookies streamline tasks like logging in, making purchases and maintaining a shopping cart. 

Marketing and Recommendations

Cookies can track user behaviour and preferences. They can deliver targeted advertisements and tailored marketing messages to online shoppers. Cooks can also provide personalised product recommendations by analysing browsing and purchase history.

Security and Fraud Prevention

Cookies online are very convenient indeed. But many online shoppers are wary of privacy and security. Cookies help enhance safety by tracking login and session information. They can help prevent fraudulent activity and keep user data secure. For example, cookies can be used to verify user credentials and ensure a secure checkout process.

With Payflex, you can rest assured knowing that your data is safe. We take your privacy seriously. Moreover, our sophisticated and super secure payment gateway will make you shop easily and enjoyably.

The Impact of Cookies on Websites

Cookies can have an impact on website performance. This is particularly true in terms of page load times and website responsiveness. Here are some ways cookies can affect website performance:

  1. Page Load Times: Cookies can slow down page load times, especially if many cookies are stored on a user’s device. This can be particularly problematic for mobile users or those with slower internet connections.
  2. Website Responsiveness: Cookies can affect website responsiveness by increasing the amount of data that needs to be transferred between the user’s device and the website server. This can result in slower page load times and a less responsive user experience.

Privacy Concerns and Cookie Regulations

Cookies can be used to track user behaviour and collect personal information. This of course, raises privacy concerns. Many people have to simply ask what are cookies online and how safe are they. Luckily, there are a few protective measures in place. 

EU Cookie Law and Other Cookie-Related Regulations

The EU Cookie Law, also known as the ePrivacy Directive, regulates the use of cookies on websites. The law requires websites to provide information about the cookies they use. It also urges websites to obtain user consent before storing cookies on their devices. 

Other countries and regions have also introduced cookie-related regulations, such as the UK’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. 

Best Practices for Cookie Management

The golden rule is always to obtain user consent for cookie usage. Websites need to be as transparent as popular. Users should always be given the option to control their cookie preferences.

In the past, cookies online were used to collect user data without their knowledge or consent. This is a violation of privacy. While cookies are used for tailored marketing messages, some may feel this is intrusive.

In Conclusion

The internet needn’t be a scary space. Your online shopping experience is, more often than not smooth sailing. With Payflex’s buy now, pay later option, your payment information and other data are secure. Head over to our FAQs for more information.