Enhance Ecommerce with Google Tag Manager

Enhance Ecommerce with Google Tag ManagerSetting up Enhanced Ecommerce with Google Tag Manager (GTM) requires two fundamental things: time and will. Why? Because implementing it is not an easy task; the process widely varies depending on your shopping cart and CMS, making the implementation more difficult. There is no list of specific instructions you need to follow to make Enhance Ecommerce work. However, there are some basic steps to follow and general information to be considered to get started.

So, the main goal in this post is just to give you a general overview and some simple recommendations about how to implement Enhanced Ecommerce correctly with GTM and encourage you to persevere in the process while thinking about all the great insights about shopper behavior and conversions you are going to get with Enhanced Ecommerce.

Thus, let’s get started! ...

In order to implement Enhanced Ecommerce via GTM, follow the basic steps below:  

     1.   Define your tracking requirements and data points for enhanced ecommerce tracking

First things first! Before implementing anything, be aware of the wide number of insightful and actionable reports about the shopper behavior and conversions that Enhanced Ecommerce provides you.

Once you do that, you can define your tracking requirements. You need to be completely sure about that. What are you going to measure? Are you interested in tracking product detail views, add or remove to products to cart, or let’s say, external promotions through affiliate sites or order/product coupons?

This will help you understand the scope of the project and focus on what is really important so that you can make an optimal use of your time and effort. You should measure at least all the checkout steps and purchase, anything else is optional. Also, take into account that some shopping carts and CMS may have several technical constraints and it may not be possible to track certain types of data, so review this with your shopping cart or CMS technical support. Yet, you will get better insights if you collect more Enhanced Ecommerce data.

To do this, take a look at the Enhanced Ecommerce Data Types and Actions to help you plan your implementation and understand which fields are required and optional for the ecommerce actions you want to measure. Then, you may proceed to manually identify all the web pages and web page elements that will take place in the Enhanced Ecommerce tracking setup.

     2.   Choose an implementation method that best suits you.

There are two ways of setting up Enhanced Ecommerce via Google Tag Manager: using a Data Layer or a Custom JavaScript Variable.

Using a Data Layer

A data layer is a piece of JavaScript code/object that contains all Ecommerce information you have defined previously to pass to Google Tag Manager. This is the preferred way to implement Enhanced Ecommerce. It is recommended that all websites that support a data layer use the Data Layer method.

Take a look on the Google’s official documentation on implementing Enhanced Ecommerce tracking through GTM to know the type of data layer code you need to create in order to place it on your website pages and elements. Bear in mind that the data layers referred by Google are just examples of how you should send Enhanced Ecommerce data and not the exact code you should copy and paste into data layers. Once again, depending on the size of your website and level of customization your CMS offer, you may end up creating many data layers.

To set up the data layer(s), you have to add the data layer snippet above your GTM container snippet into your web pages. Then, you can create the tags, triggers and variables in your GTM account to finish the Enhanced Ecommerce tracking setup. Refer to Tag Manager documentation to know how to configure an Enhance Ecommerce tag through a data layer.

Using a Custom JavaScript Variable

Another method of implementing Enhanced Ecommerce with GTM is creating a variable of type “Custom JavaScript”. This variable must be configured to return ecommerce information, just as you would configure it with a data layer. Take a look at the Developer documentation for detailed information and at the Tag Manager Help Page, to set up Enhance Ecommerce through a variable.  

  • Finally, test and install Enhanced Ecommerce tracking on your website

It is recommended to create a Google Analytics test property to test each Enhanced Ecommerce tag configuration in GTM using the “preview and debug feature, that way you don’t break or alter your existing ecommerce data (if applicable) with test data. Next, once you are sure that everything is working properly, then remove the traditional Ecommerce tracking code from your “thank you” page, enable or turn ON Enhanced Ecommerce tracking in view settings and finally, publish your new tag configurations.enhance-ecommerce-3

And that was it!

Although the implementation of Enhanced Ecommerce via GTM could be a difficult and time-consuming process, if you clearly determine your tracking requirements based on your business or marketing goals and receive the help of a good developer or development team, the implementation will be very easy to handle.

Now is your turn!

As in everything in life…enhance-ecommerce-2And so are the sweet fruits of seeing your sales and ROI increase, thanks to decisions based on a wide spectrum of Enhanced Ecommerce insights that you made possible through a great implementation.

Do you have any questions or suggestions? Write them in the comments section below! I’ll be pleased to read and answer them.

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