tags seen as the bad guys and blocked entirely from sites, how would a retailer
ever be able to switch analytics provider?
What level of customer service
and innovation could they then expect from the incumbent suppliers?
Most retailers we speak to have a very clear view of
the precise impact of an extra second of page load time on traffic and
What we thought was less known was that tracking tags
are often the heaviest and slowest-loading assets on their pages and that dealing
with them would be a crucial part of any plan to optimise the speed of their
site, protect customer experience and drive more sales.
But, our latest survey showed we were wrong. After
conducting an online survey of 60 digital marketers, we found that 71% claimed
to know how optimising loading of marketing tags could reduce overall load
times. What was less surprising was that only one in three have taken steps to address the issue.
However, the problem with raising awareness of the threat of
tags to page speed is the reaction of marketers. If it is to remove their tags
entirely, maybe reduce the number of suppliers they work with or institute wide-ranging blocks on the addition of any new tags, the industry is in
We had heard, for example, that US retailing giant Sears removed all its tags to gain an increase in site speed of something like 15%.
But, tags are brilliant. Without them we can’t
implement, manage and track new technologies, providers or campaigns. They are
the mechanism by which new suppliers can be tried, new ways of marketing tested
and the performance of all of those things tracked to incredible degrees of
Imagine if a tag lockdown occurred on the majority of
significant retail sites. How could the likes of Criteo and Struq have gained
adoption? Or the new wave of tag-fired live customer service chat systems?
Switching technology providers, particularly web analytics, is a gigantic
challenge already. With tags seen as the bad guys and blocked entirely from
sites, how would a retailer ever be able to switch analytics provider? And what
level of customer service and innovation could they then expect from the
So, in the hunt for page optimisation, we must look
for solutions that don’t throw the baby out with the bath water; that enable
tags to be controlled, managed, their burden on sites lifted but still able to
do their vital jobs?
Forrester Research produced an independent report
investigating the case for investing in tag management systems crucial report
late last year that argued ‘In the case of complex websites or those with an extensive tag footprint, investing in a tag management
system yields multiple benefits based on efficient processes and accurate
We’ve made that report available to
anyone who wants to download it. Just visit our Whitepapers section. What it doesn’t express is the link between tracking tags and page
speed but that link is now clear and a new reason for site owners to get their
tags under control.