DHL increases CMP opt-in rates with A/B testing and OneTrust PreferenceChoice

Overhead photo of trucks at a distribution center

As the global market leader in logistics, DHL connects individuals in over 220 countries.  DHL takes pride in its ability to collaborate with customers, industry partners, academic institutions, and logistics experts to become an influential voice in the industry.  DHL applied the analytical approach to GDPR compliance and preference management. 

The  company’s first goal was to become GDPR compliant quickly, and second, was to maintain as many trackable users as possible. In order to meet their compliance goal, DHL leveraged OneTrust PreferenceChoice  to deploy a consent management platform (CMP) to follow compliance guidelines with the latest data protection laws around the world for multiple websites.   

The team selected OneTrust to address its CMP needs across all websites, while also providing the flexibility to A/B test different banner placements and language.  DHL tested these factors to better understand how they influenced how users engaged with a banner and opt-in consent to tracking.  The variables tested included: banner placement, colors, wording, animations, and icons.    This testing ultimately result in a 40% opt-in rate increase.  Read more to learn about the cookie banner variations that led to this significant increase. 


Phase 1: A/B testing CMP banner placement

During the brainstorming phase, DHL’s team identified over 144 variety of possible experiences. Ultimately, they focused on three placements and interaction models for a pragmatic start.

The first phase of testing DHL tested banner placement to understand its impact on user engagement and opt-in rate. DHL found that a centered overlay banner had the best response with a 20% higher opt–in rate compared to cookie banners placed on the bottom or corner left.    

DHL found users are most likely to interact with a banner that is presented directly to them. Users may be less likely to interact with a cookie banner if it is off to the side or at the bottom of the page. The testing highlights when the content is partially covered by the banner the user is most likely to engage with it. 


Phase 2: A/B testing banner placement and cookie description

In the second round of testing DHL’s team tested the category description (cookie purpose) combined with banner placement to meet all requirements of GDPR compliance. This phase worked to find a compromise between obtaining opt-in consent without disturbing the user.  

The GDPR requires that every cookie category must be described in detail within the cookie banner or CMP. The user must also be provided with the option to opt-in or opt-out on the first layer of the banner. In Germany, a  Federal Court of Justice – Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) ruling based on the recent Planet49 case declared that consent is required for all cookies other than strictly necessary.  

The two placements tested were on the left of the screen and a center overlay. For category description, the team opted for full category descriptions on the first banner layer and category descriptions in accordions on a second layer notice.     

The testing found that the left-justified banner with full category description on the first layer performed the best with a 40% opt-in rate increase.  According to DHL, several factors may have contributed to the opt-in rates. The full text on the first layer of the banner seemed to build more trust with the audience compared to the accordion or second layer notice. As a result, customers were more likely to choose “Accept All Cookies” and continue their customer journey.    


A/B testing CMP banner builds trust and business benefit

DHL’s A/B testing shows the power of a data-driven marketing compliance program.  Specifically:   

  • Marketing goals and GDPR compliance aren’t mutually exclusive. Privacy is the foundation for building trust with your audience and can help reach marketing goals rather than hinder them.    
  • Testing your CMP is essential. This study highlights the importance of conducting A/B testing. Even slight differences (such as the amount of text on a first layer) can make significant differences in opt-in rates.    


PreferenceChoice helps with A/B testing CMPs and optimizing consent rates

Recent global data privacy regulations require organizations to include a pop-up (CMP) that asks permission to set cookies or tracking technologies such as web analytics, personalization, and third-party advertising cookies. With this, publishers and advertisers are challenged with deploying a CMP that doesn’t create an extra layer of friction or hinder the user experience. If a user decides to abandon the website or does not accept cookies due to the CMP’s user interface (UI), that action impacts consent opt-ins and the marketing performance tracking, which decreases revenue and personalized ad delivery.    

The solution to deploying the best CMP for consent rates, user experience, and ad delivery is to leverage out-of-the-box templates that were built with privacy by design in mind and apply A/B Testing. Easily customize CMP variations with slightly different modifications, such as placement, color, or text, to test which one receives higher opt-ins. OneTrust is dedicated to not only providing a best-in-class privacy solution but one that also doesn’t impact your organization’s growth or revenue.

  • Configure Your CMP Variations: Customize multiple CMPs to test different variants such as colors, button text, banner placement and vendors   
  • Deploy and Monitor Opt-Ins: Easily deploy A/B Testing and monitor CMP opt-ins in an interactive consent dashboard   
  • Iterate and Improve Based on Testing: Once the testing is complete, reconfigure your CMP using the winning variation to maximize opt-ins 

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