A solid tag management system is essential. Poor tag management solutions will harm your business sooner or later. Google Tag Manager allowed us to cut our development costs, have state-of-the-art management of tags, keep our ecommerce site fast and reduce tag errors.
- Understand cross-device usage patterns and purchasing paths
- Align marketing decisions with customer behavior across devices
- Upgraded to Universal Analytics in Google Analytics Premium
- Embraced the User ID to perform user-centered analytics
- Enabled cross-account conversion tracking in AdWords
- Implemented Google Tag Manager
- Discovered smartphones and tablets were undervalued in purchase path in previous analyses
- Adjusted marketing spend for more accurate alignment with true user behavior
- Reduced average page load time by 18%
Founded in 2011, Westwing is the ecommerce leader in the home and living market outside of the U.S. As a premium shopping club, it extends special daily offers from top brands and designers to its members. The emphasis is on exclusivity and chic design, with a mission "to inspire and make every home a beautiful home."
As members increasingly seek inspiration and buy products across multiple devices and platforms—including desktop, smartphone and tablet—purchasing paths grow in complexity. Westwing recognized the need to develop a clear understanding of cross device usage habits to create effective marketing plans.
A holistic view of user behavior through Universal Analytics
Westwing began using Google Analytics when the business launched and upgraded to Google Analytics Premium in collaboration with Google Analytics Premium reseller Trakken in 2012, which enabled it to improve accuracy with unsampled data and increase speed with the freshest data possible. The company then embraced Universal Analytics as soon as it became available. Universal Analytics includes a new set of features that changes the way data is collected and organizedd in Westwing's Google Analytics account, so the company can get a better understanding of how users interact with its online content.
Because Westwing's sites require users to log in, the company was in a perfect position to take advantage of the unique User ID, a Universal Analytics feature that enables multiple devices, sessions and engagement data to be associated with a unique ID. When that unique ID and any related engagement data is sent to Google Analytics, all activity is attributed to one user in the reports. By adopting the User ID, Westwing gained access to the new cross-device reports to see how users are interacting with the business across multiple devices.
Westwing ran a pilot in its Brazilian operations before upgrading all countries to the new solution. As an existing user of Google Analytics, the company followed the two-step Universal Analytics Upgrade process. "Thanks to the Universal Analytics Upgrade Center, we could easily upgrade our countries," says Westwing’s head of marketing analytics Claes Holmqvist. "Most importantly, we can keep gathering our data in the same analytics property and view as before, and thereby avoid having data in two separate places."
An opportunity to streamline tagging and decrease page load times
Alongside the upgrade to Universal Analytics, Westwing seized the chance to implement Google Tag Manager, which made the tagging update straightforward. This tool features an easy-to-use web interface from which Westwing’s marketing team can manage, store and organized tags of all types across multiple websites.
Holmqvist asserts that the tool delivers significant advantages. "GTM enabled us to unify our tag management and we can now use one single tool to manage all of our tags despite using several web and app platforms. We can track events without tying up resources from our IT department; it shortens the implementation time from weeks to minutes. Our page speed has improved thanks to the asynchronous loading of the tags, too. The built-in testing tools allow us to easily test the tags before putting them live on the page, which has reduced the number of errors on our website. Google Tag Manager has allowed us to free up a significant number of work hours to be used for other important tasks." The time savings extend to customers as well because these measures have reduced the average page load time by 18%.
Westwing also introduced cross-account conversion tracking to enable analysis across its multiple AdWords accounts. With a single conversion code snippet and a My Client Center (MCC) account, it's now possible to track conversions across hundreds of accounts. This implementation has produced further efficiency gains, says Holmqvist. "With our previous solution, we had to choose between slowing down our website by firing all our AdWords tags at once and conditioning each tag to fire only for the right campaigns, which required constant verification of settings and links. It was also hard to test whether the correct tag was firing. With MCC conversion tracking, our setup is much cleaner and easier to manage. We now have a clear overview of both our web and app conversion tags, and it has reduced both tracking errors and loading time."
Better, richer insights open the door for more effective marketing
Implementing these tools has had an immediate impact on Westwing’s business. "The measures have massively improved our tracking setup, data quality and page speed, and, thanks to the cross-device tracking, have also enabled us to gain key insights about our customers. Previously, we were blind about how users move across devices."
In Universal Analytics, reports are graphically represented to make it easy to absorb actionable data, including cross-device coverage, device paths and device overlap. For example, these resources have shown that 10% of Westwing’s members in Brazil who complete a purchase on desktop have actually started their journey on a smartphone or tablet. "We see a very high number of users who switch between devices before making a purchase,” explains Westwing CMO Valentin Schellhaas. "Interestingly, it seems that a lot of users prefer doing their research on smartphones and tablets but ‘close the deal’ on desktops. If we had looked at our data without cross-device tracking, we would have overvalued desktop users and most likely considered mobile and tablet users less valuable." Armed with these kinds of valuable insights, Westwing can adjust budget to more effectively drive sales.
Looking forward, the company plans to integrate app and cross-channel cost data into Universal Analytics, and can now approach potential clients via cross-device remarketing, too. With the holistic view of customers' behavior that these measures allow, Westwing will be in a better position to analyze, optimize and tailor messaging than ever before.