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Read this before you install an iPhone ad blocking app

by Todd Haselton | September 24, 2015September 24, 2015 1:00 pm PDT

crystal-ad-blocker

We can debate all day long about the pros and cons of using an ad-blocking application. Pro: no ads in your face. Con: those ads help content creators make money. But, you might want to consider ad-blocking applications for iOS 9 for a totally different reason: shopping.

According to Fortune, which spoke with Branding Brand CEO Chris Mason, popular ad blocking applications such as Crystal are degrading shopping experiences on popular retail websites. That means you won’t be able to buy goods as easily before, at least as long as your ad blocking software is on.

“Content blocks are going to cause a lot of problems,” Mason told Fortune, speaking of the upcoming shopping season. “First, the experience for customers will be lessened. Lots of sites will be missing content, have broken links or customers won’t be able to add certain items to their shopping carts. They’ll probably just think the site is broken, but it’s really their content blocker. Second, retailers will be data-blind, or at least data-dark. It will really impact their ability to make quick judgements.” Mason specifically named Lululemon, Sears and Walmart as retailers that are already affected.

To play devil’s advocate for a second here, it’s sometimes possible to just use a retailer’s third-party app, most of them have those. But Mason does have a point: the code on some of these retailer sites show them how folks are navigating around websites, allowing them to improve the experience for shoppers. Additionally, some ads can be particularly useful — why miss out on a 50 percent sale that might appear in an ad, for example?

Something worth thinking about, at least if you want to save money while shopping.

Fortune

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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