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1. What are cookies?
Cookies are text files containing small amounts of information that are transferred and stored to your device when you visit a website. Cookies are then sent back to the originating website on each subsequent visit, or to another website that recognises that cookie. Cookies are useful because they allow a website to recognise a user’s device and to remember a user’s actions and preferences over a period of time.
First and third party cookies can be ‘persistent’ or ‘session’ cookies depending on their duration. Persistent cookies remain on a user's device for the period of time specified in those cookies, and are activated each time that user visits the website that created the cookies, until the cookies expire or are disabled by the user. Session cookies allow the actions of a user to be linked during a single browsing session. A session starts when a user opens a browser window and ends when the browser window is closed, following which all session cookies are deleted. Our website uses both persistent and session cookies.
Web beacons (also known as internet tags, pixel tags and clear GIFs) are a similar technology which typically uses transparent graphic images placed on a website. Web beacons are used in combination with cookies to measure the actions of website users, such as the type of browser used to access a web page and the time the page containing the beacon is viewed. We use web beacons in addition to cookies.
Cookies are used on our website to collect information about your user preferences, browsing habits and the device you have used to access our website (including the make, model and operating system, IP address, browser type and mobile device identifiers) so that we can:
- provide essential features and functionality on our website;
- help ensure that you get the best from our website by making it as easy and intuitive as possible for you to use;
- remember choices you make and recognise you when you return, so you don't have to remind us each time you visit;
- monitor and analyse website usage and performance so that we can improve how it operates (including in relation to security) and the product selection and services available through it;
- make suggestions and recommendations to you and other users of our website about products or services that may interest you or them; and
- measure and understand the effectiveness of our advertising campaigns, and deliver relevant advertising to you.
Different cookies have different functions. Our website uses the following cookies:
Strictly necessary cookies
These cookies are essential for our website to operate. For example, they enable you to log into secure areas of our website, add products to your shopping basket and pay for these when you have finished browsing. We do not require your consent to set these cookies on your device as our website cannot function properly without them.
These cookies allow our website to remember choices you make when visiting our website and recognise you when you return. For example, functionality cookies allow us to remember information such as your login details if you choose to create an account with us, products you have added to your wish list and other customised features. When you first access our website, we ask for your consent to set functionality cookies on your device.
We use Google Analytics, a popular website analytics service provided by Google. We allow Google Analytics to set cookies on your device when you visit our website for the purposes of recognising and measuring the number of visitors to our website and analysing interactions with our website, such as items clicked on, web pages viewed and any web pages where users are encountering download error messages from time to time. Google uses this information to compile anonymised reports on website activity, which we use to help improve the way our website works. See here for further information from Google about how Google Analytics works.
When you first access our website, we ask for your consent to set analytical/performance cookies on your device. To opt-out of cookies provided by Google Analytics, you can install the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on available here. The add-on will prevent your browser from sending information to Google Analytics.
We use a number of third parties including Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Dotmailer, to help us carry out our advertising and marketing activities. We allow these third parties to set cookies on your device when you visit our website in order to collect information about your browsing habits, including the web pages you’ve viewed, products you’ve put in your shopping basket and the links you’ve clicked through. This information is used to make our website more relevant to your interests. It is also used to make adverts you see online more relevant to you, as well as to limit the number of times you see an advert. In addition, if you are a customer who has signed up to receive marketing emails from us, you might receive emails containing content that is tailored to your interests, based on your browsing habits.
Targeted/advertising cookies also enable us to measure and analyse the overall effectiveness of our advertising and marketing campaigns so that we can improve them in the future.
When you first access our website, we ask for your consent to set targeting/advertising cookies on your device.
- Google: See here. To opt-out of Google's advertising cookies, see here.
- Facebook: See here.
- Instagram: See here.
- Twitter: See here.
Email interaction technology
Our emails may contain web beacons to tell us whether they are opened and verify any clicks through to links within an email. We (or our marketing service provider on our behalf) use this information to help us understand how an email campaign performed, what types of emails and content our customers find interesting, and what actions our customers took, so we can improve our email campaigns in the future and make our emails more relevant to you.
If you do not wish the web beacon to be downloaded onto your device, you should select to receive emails from us in plain text rather than HTML.
4. How you can manage your cookie preferences
The functionality, analytical/performance and targeting/advertising cookies on our website are not strictly necessary for our website to work but improve its overall performance and are intended to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you do not consent to these cookies or wish to withdraw your consent at any time, please disable them by following the instructions below. Please be aware that if you do this, we cannot ensure that all pages on our website will be displayed as intended or that all the features and functions of our website will be fully available.
Many web browsers accept cookies by default. You can usually change the settings to refuse new cookies, block or delete some or all existing cookies or alert you when new cookies are set on your device. As the precise means by which you may do this will vary from browser to browser, please visit your browser's help or settings function for more information. Alternatively, you can visit www.aboutcookies.org for further information on how to change cookie settings across various browsers (e.g. Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari).
Please note that if you use different devices to access and use our website, you will need to ensure that each browser on each device is adjusted to suit your cookie preferences.
5. How you can contact us
- emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com;
- writing to: Customer Services, Animal House, Vanguard Road, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1PH, UK; or
- calling: our Customer Services line on 03450 722 522 or our general enquiries line on 08450 267 267.