Tag manager systems – the traffic cop for tag-based apps

August 16, 2013 Written by NetSphere Category: eCommerce
Tag manager systems – the traffic cop for tag-based apps
Buyers are becoming much more demanding when they shop online these days. And when merchants aren’t bringing on new features to match those buyer expectations, shoppers shift their purchasing interest to sites that do. The rub, however, is that more often than not, eCommerce vendors can’t provide new functionality at the pace that merchants need it. So considering that consumers are an impatient bunch, what's an online merchant supposed to do?
One option is to add new functionality through the use of tag-based applications (TBAs).
Over the past few years, a cottage industry has been born from the emergence of TBAs. Predominantly, TBAs are Software-as-a-Service solutions that allow a merchant to quickly add new functionality to their site. The TBAs use page tags, little code snippets, that are embedded on a webpage to track information about a specific action someone wants to monitor like a mouse click, page view or product purchase. And although you may not know it, you probably already use TBAs to conduct your online business as illustrated below:
  • A/B testing, MVT (Adobe Test & Target)
  • Advertising (Google Adwords/PPC)
  • Customer experience (surveys/Survey Monkey)
  • Live chat (online help/LiveChat Software)
  • Social media integration (ratings and reviews/BazaarVoice)
  • Web analytics (tools from Adobe, Google, IBM, WebTrends)

To find out how many TBAs are currently running on your site, you can download the Ghostery plug-in ( To manage the TBAs that you do have, you can employ a tag manager system.

The purpose of a tag manager system (TMS) is to act as a traffic cop to simplify the management of TBAs. Since thousands of software packages use tags to convey information about specific events (mouse click, page view, online purchase), a TMS will replace all third-party tags on a website with a single tag script, sometimes called a master tag.

This helps page load performance since the master tag controls what tags need to be triggered for what applications when a page is visited by a shopper. This is in stark contrast with a website or webstore that does not have a TSM deployed. Essentially, without one, the behind-the-scenes situation looks like a traffic jam of all the applications that have tags that think they have work to do. And just like a busy morning commute, the pace of page load times is slow going. In the end, it not only causes a webpage to load slower, but it also generates an inferior customer experience.

To learn more about how to install a TMS on your site to keep traffic moving smoothly, feel free to get in touch with the NetSphere Strategies team. Our goal is, and always has been, to maximize the way that your site delivers on the wants and needs of today’s shoppers.

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Abbe Miller is the marketing manager at NetSphere Strategies, located just outside Chicago. NetSphere Strategies is a boutique eCommerce company positioned to help businesses transform their online presence by providing a full complement of services that starts with our strategic consulting and creative design teams, then continues with building innovative solutions and providing ongoing post-project support.