Forward3D Are Now Google Tag Manager Partners

by George Collins on Wednesday 11 October 2017

Forward3D are pleased to announce that we are now official Google Tag Manager Certified Partners! Whilst we already support our clients with their tagging and tracking needs, this is the recognition from Google that we are capable of advanced tagging and implementation projects. To celebrate this milestone we thought we’d take the opportunity to share some recent work we’ve been carrying out with an online retail client.


Our client is an online retailer and work with Forward3D’s Data Science and Advanced Analytics team regularly to drive their strategy forward. Whilst trying to understand the user paths through the site that generate the most conversions, we identified some limitations of the existing data available. 

Order of Interactions and Timestamps


One of biggest issues we faced was that Google Analytics does not allow you to pull events and interactions being tracked in the order they occurred. Whilst there are a number of time dimensions available, even a combination of these was not sufficient for our project.


Our client was already adding a timestamp for when users entered the site with a custom javascript variable but this didn’t persist across all events and interactions. Our team took this javascript variable and applied it as a custom dimension across every interaction on the site at a hit level.


This allowed us to reconstruct user journeys with every interaction on the website in the correct order, enabling the analysis of best paths through the website beyond the standard pages viewed.

Which Product was Added to Cart First?


Despite our timestamps, there was another issue we needed to solve. For reporting purposes it was important that we very easily identify the first product that was added to a user's basket. Our timestamps allow us to do this, but this method was designed for pulling data from the API and using it in more advanced analysis. 


There are still other stakeholders who need to easily understand the difference between which products get added first and the difference in order value etc. as a result.


Our solution was to create a custom javascript variable which recorded the number of items in the basket. At the point that a product is added to a basket we created a rule that separated out events based on whether there was product in the basket already or not. If there was no product in the basket at this point, the event action identified it as first product added to cart. If there was already a product in the basket at this point the standard add to cart event fired.


Now both the client and our teams here at Forward3D can quickly see a breakdown of how many times a product was simply added to cart versus when it was the first product added to cart.


What Next?


This additional data is allowing progression with a number of other data projects for our client, and there is plenty more we can track too. One possibility is to track the value of the basket as well as the item count ,enabling clients to layer this onto remarketing for targeting higher value baskets. 


We’re always pushing the edge with what we can achieve for our clients and their tracking, and with new features lined up for Tag Manager we’ll have plenty of opportunities!