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Not All Tags Are Created Equal: Weighing Marketing Tag Cost Versus Value

May 24, 2016 – Evidon Team

When shoppers suddenly start abandoning their carts in high numbers, getting to the root of the problem quickly becomes a high priority.

Most eCommerce managers wonder whether customers are getting distracted, prices are too high, or the culprit is that the checkout processes is too complicated. While you can’t read customers’ minds, you can make sure the website isn’t to blame.

Checking page load times is the first place to start. Page load times are slowing due to the high number of vendor tags being added by marketing and business users interested in tracking customers. When it takes too long to load a page – especially one in the check-out process – customers flee, which is bad for business. So bad for business that they left over $4 trillion in those carts last year.

A conversation with WebOps may confirm that tags are the culprit, and while you may want to eliminate the tag immediately, it might have high value to marketing and the business.

To marketing the tag may provide valuable insight about customer demographics and behavior, but there must be balance between the value versus cost – especially if tags may be behind lost revenues. Research firm Aberdeen has found that a one-second delay in load times results in a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction and 7% loss in conversions. That’s why determining a tag’s value is vital for all stakeholders.

The Critical Importance of Tag Cost-to-Value Analysis

Once you’ve synced with Marketing and WebOps on the acceptable page load times (a ranking factor for google) needed to deliver an optimal site visitor experience, you’ll need to determine a tag’s value.

To do that, you’ll need to conduct a cost/benefit analysis to compute the tag’s value. First, everyone needs to understand how many conversions it drives and what impact on revenue the tag may have. WebOps can map and visualize all the components – including these marketing technologies – operating on the website using Evidon MCM.

The service shows WebOps the latency issues associated with each tag in order to pinpoint which are slowing down site performance. To conduct a tag-value-versus-cost benchmark analysis, WebOps can load test site performance in a synthetic and real-user environment, with and without the problem tag. Then conversion or revenue metrics associated with the tag – whether they be analytic or tracking – can be compared with optimal site performance. The team can then decide whether the tag is valuable to the business. It’s the first steps toward a vendor data governance program.

Fixing Hidden Vendor Redirects Boost Conversions

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), the world’s largest hotel company, noticed an uptick in shopping cart abandonment and lower conversions. They decided a tag-value-versus-cost benchmark analysis was absolutely necessary – to find out if their tags were providing enough bang for the buck to justify their place on the site.

Chad Westfall, the Director of Web Delivery, used Evidon MCM to help pinpoint the problem. What he found was alarming: a large number of unknown third-party marketing vendors were collecting data across IHG’s domains, accessing the sites through complex redirects. “With the many websites we manage, Evidon’s MCM is a great benefit, especially since it did not require us to add more technology to our sites to figure out what was going on,” Westfall said. “MCM also helped bridge the divide between IT, marketing, legal, and security by enforcing cross-department communication and alignment of our website strategies.”

Stay or Go: Tag Value Impacts Marketing and eCommerce Success

With the explosion of third-party marketing technologies being added to websites, it’s important to create a process to decide which is of value to the entire company, not just marketing or WebOps. Unfortunately, many marketers don’t have the tools to evaluate a tag’s value in terms other than delivering marketing success. Similarly, WebOps has difficulty seeing the value of marketing tags that provide important insights into user behavior.

It’s high time eCommerce bring WebOps and Marketing together to create a process that evaluates tag value. Although you can’t read shoppers’ minds when shopping cart abandon rates climb, you can make sure your website continues operate optimally and that only tags of value – with clear lines of ownership – are added to the mix.

Like to hear more about weighing the costs and benefits of specific tags? Get in touch today!