The ultimate guide to Shopify cookies

The ultimate guide to Shopify cookies
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Shopify cookies are data files stored on user devices that are used for improving user security and experience, and for targeted marketing. To ensure the use of cookies on your Shopify website is compliant with privacy laws, you need to create a cookie policy and add a cookie consent banner.

To help you out, we prepared the ultimate guide to Shopify cookies. We’ll explain what they are, their types, how to comply with GDPR and CCPA, and how to add a cookie consent banner.

Add a cookie consent banner to your Shopify website in just a few clicks, customize it to your liking, and track user consent forms.

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What are Shopify cookies?

Shopify cookies are small files downloaded to a user’s device when they visit a Shopify website. They collect information about the user’s activity on the website and serve various purposes. 

For example, Shopify cookies can be used to enhance user experience by eliminating the need to log in each time and remembering the user’s shopping cart or language preferences.

Alternatively, cookies can be used for targeted advertising. They collect data about a user, such as their browsing history, device used, age, and location, and segment users to show ads that are relevant to them.

Types of Shopify cookies

Shopify uses a number of cookies according to its privacy policy. Here are the main types of cookies the platform implements:

   1. Strictly necessary

Strictly necessary cookies are cookies that are essential to ensure the functioning of the store. They’re used to improve security, accessibility, and smooth performance of basic actions. This includes adding products to a shopping cart, browsing through pages, and more.

Strictly necessary cookies don’t require user consent because they’re obligatory for the Shopify website to work.

   2. Functional

Shopify uses functional cookies that remember user preferences and data they provide to personalize user experience. This can include anything from region to username and more. Here are some types of functional cookies they use:

  • User-centric security cookies – used to enhance security by detecting authentication abuse (like failed login attempts).
  • Multimedia content player session cookies – used to store technical data, like image quality or buffering parameters, which is necessary to play back audiovisual content.
  • Load balancing session cookies – used for keeping track of the same server in the pool to provide a seamless user experience.
  • User interface customization persistent cookies – used to remember user preferences on a website, like the set language choice.

   3. Performance

Performance cookies collect aggregated data to monitor user behavior on a Shopify website. They can count time spent on the website, bounce rates, loading speeds, page visits, and more. There are two types of performance cookies:

  • First-party analytics cookies – used to enhance sites by estimating user numbers, monitoring their interactions with the website, and more.
  • Third-party analytics cookies – used by services like Google Analytics to assess user interactions with the site.

   4. Advertising

Advertising cookies are used for marketing purposes – they track user behavior to deliver relevant ads. However, Shopify doesn’t use these cookies on the websites of their merchants.

   5. Social media or content

Social media cookies are used to connect websites to social media platforms. For example, they can be helpful to share content using a social media widget. Alternatively, a YouTube cookie can monitor views on an embedded video.

Since social media cookies have similar functions to advertising cookies, they’re often classified together.

How to comply with GDPR and CCPA on Shopify?

Shopify merchants must include a cookie policy and cookie consent banner on their website if it uses cookies to comply with GDPR and CCPA.

The cookie policy should include all the necessary information required by these privacy laws. For example, under both GDPR and CCPA, it should include a full list of cookies and their purpose, company contact information, and details on how to withdraw consent.

You can take a look at all the main compliance requirements of GDPR and CCPA here:

Requirements GDPR CCPA
Asking for user consent ❌ (consent is given automatically, except for minors and sensitive data)
Providing what cookies are used and why
Record and store user consent
Provide an option to withdraw consent
Allow users to access the website even if consent isn’t given n/a (not explicitly mentioned)

You can add a cookie policy to Shopify by going to your admin dashboard > Online Store > Pages and clicking Add page. Simply add the title and cookie policy content and click Save.

Meanwhile, a cookie consent banner can be easily added using a third-party Shopify app like TinyCookie.

Learning how to add a cookie consent banner on Shopify takes just a few simple steps. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Install a cookie consent tool from the Shopify app store, like TinyCookie.
  2. Embed the app.Embed TinyCookie on Shopify
  3. Go to your Shopify Admin dashboard, open the app, and click General settings to change the cookie banner layout and placement. Don’t forget to click Save.Edit cookie consent banner layout and placement on TinyCookie
  4. Customize cookie banner content by clicking Content settings. Click Save once it’s ready.Edit cookie consent banner content on TinyCookie

You can preview how your cookie consent banner looks by opening the theme editor or your published website. Keep in mind that some tools, including TinyCookie, automatically track user consent forms and let you export them to a .xlsx file.


Any Shopify merchants that use cookies on their website must know all about what cookies are, their uses, and compliance requirements. While necessary cookies responsible for basic site functionality don’t require consent, advertising, functional, and other cookie types need to be disclosed to the user.

To comply with GDPR and CCPA, website owners must include a cookie policy with a list of all cookies used on the website. There also must be a cookie consent banner with options for users to accept or decline cookies.

The fastest way to set up a cookie consent banner on Shopify is to use a tool like TinyCookie. All you have to do is embed the app and the banner will appear on your website.

Frequently asked questions

All Shopify stores use cookies because the platform uses necessary cookies for security and other basic site functions. You can use a cookie scanner like TinyCookie to find out all the cookies that your website uses.

You can create a cookie in Shopify by getting a third-party app like TinyCookie. All you have to do is go to the Cookie categories section, type in the cookie you want, and click Save.

Using Shopify doesn’t guarantee GDPR compliance because Shopify merchants control and handle their own customer data. That’s why merchants must create a GDPR-compliant cookie policy and add a cookie consent banner.

About the author
Nikoleta Kokleviciute
Nikoleta is a Marketing Manager at TinyCookie, an app for GDPR cookie consent for Shopify merchants. Nikoleta loves diving deep into digital marketing, eCommerce, social media trends, and creating content that benefits its readers!