Google Chrome “SameSite” Update May Impact ERP-Marketplace Functionalities

If your ERP utilizes one or more PunchOut-based supplier catalogs or marketplace and you are experiencing interruptions to your normal browsing or shopping cart functionalities, this may be the result of changes to the Chrome browser engine that Google began a limited rollout earlier this year.

The update changes the way cookies are used to identify each user, sustain a user session, and maintain the connection between a user and their cart contents. This can result in users not being able to access their marketplace or seeing a login screen when they are expecting to see their shopping cart.

The outbreak of COVID-19 interrupted Google’s initial limited rollout activities that began early-2020, but as of July 14, Google resumed its update initiative.

What changes are Google making?

  • Virtually every site that you login to utilizes “cookies” to keep track of your session (this includes your bank, email, etc.)
  • Cookies may also be used for purposes such as tracking which sites you’ve been to so targeted ads can be displayed. These cookies are often referred to as 3rd-party cookies.
  • Google is updating Chrome to block 3rd party cookies in certain scenarios, starting with Chrome version 80.
  • In any Chrome version 80 or higher, it’s possible that blocking 3rd party cookies is enabled. Unlike a traditional rollout, Google is remotely changing the browser settings for some percentage of users and will gradually be making this change for more and more users.

NOTE: As dozens of browsers, including Microsoft Edge, rely on the Chrome engine for core browser functionalities, disruption to normal PunchOut functionality is not limited to Chrome users.

What does this mean for ERP and marketplace providers?

  • For organizations with an ERP integration, you must ensure that your ERP software is up-to-date to support “SameSite” cookie changes.
  • For a marketplace integrated with an ERP that does not support the Chrome cookie changes, the following issues may occur:
    • If the marketplace is displayed within a frame in the ERP, shoppers may not be able to access the marketplace.
    • Shoppers may not be able to return their cart back to the ERP after spending 2 minutes in the marketplace.

WHAT TO DO:

If you’re experiencing disruptions to normal marketplace functionality, notify your organization’s ERP, marketplace administrator or IT department. They will need to contact your organization’s ERP support team as the 3rd party cookie handling must be addressed by the ERP software provider.

At this time, most ERP software providers are aware of the issues related to the SameSite change, but the links below may help with the initial assessment.

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