Our regular Tag Inspector scans can pull various types of information about different industries and marketing tools most used.  One recent study we performed was around top eCommerce companies and brand sites. Specifically, we wanted to better understand what type of marketing and analytics tags or tools are used by the top 100 eCommerce organizations.

We created a report of what tags are used by these organizations by pulling the list of top online businesses from Internet Retailer and running those websites through Tag Inspector.  Before we dive into the results and statistics from the report, we’d like to discuss the value behind this kind of data for your organization (whether or not you’re an eCommerce site).

Ecommerce Advertising Top Marketing Tags from Tag Inspector

Learning from the Best

There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to look at what the top companies in an industry are doing digitally, even for an industry as broad as eCommerce.  It can be good to know which tags are popular and which are not so that you can make sure you are choosing the right tag or tool for your site.  There is nothing worse than adding something to your site only to learn it is being discontinued soon.

Looking at big companies with big budgets can also generate new ideas for how you can spend your marketing, advertising and analytics budgets and any missed opportunities for new tools to utilize to connect to new customers or audiences.

By looking at the companies that are generating 100 million pageviews daily, $1 billion+ dollars in transactions weekly, and more than $10 billion dollars spent annually on marketing, you can begin to understand which tools and marketing tactics are working and which may not be.  Sure I am biased, but below you’ll see that most of the top 100 eCommerce sites are running Google Analytics.  This must scream something, and that is Google Analytics is stellar at (or at least very capable of) tracking eCommerce success.

So What Digital Marketing Tags and Tools Are Used?

So let’s get to the good stuff: the stats and insights from our Tag Inspector Scan and Analysis Report!  This only shows three tag types and the top tags within each type (web analytics, advertising, tag management systems) but there are many  more tags!  Some tag groupings not shown in this blog post include social media tags, survey tags, and special or dynamic content delivery tags. For a full copy of the report, or if you’d like to run a custom report beyond our free tool capacity (limited at 100 pages per site), feel free to reach out to us by clicking here and filling out our form.

Web Analytics Tools

The most interesting fact about web analytics tools used by eCommerce sites is many sites have multiple web analytics platforms tracking visitors in tandem.  Specifically, there is significant overlap between Google Analytics, Coremetrics and Adobe Omniture (now SiteCatalyst).  This could be because up until last year, Google Analytics was only a free product with data limitations, so marketers likely had their premium product for unsampled raw visitor traffic (Coremetrics and Omniture) but also preferred the clean, fast and immense intereface of free Google Analytics, so they had both on site.  However, now with Google Analytics Premium, there is no need to have two analytics tools since GAP can capture and present unsampled raw data.  It could also be due to the advent of free Universal Analytics, which with TagInspector scans still fires as Google Analytics.  Alas, enough background, here are some raw numbers and stats:

  • 67% of the top eCommerce Sites have Google Analytics firing on the site
  • 57% have Adobe SiteCatalyst (now Omniture)
  • 23% have IBM Coremetrics

And several others had a other tools including a few advertising/analytics hybrid tags and tools such as 40% had MediaMath.

Advertising Tools

Online Advertising for eCommerce Sites

Advertising tools are definitely more prelevant on eCommerce sites, with multiple platforms commonly shown per domain.  Again, Google is leading the pack with their Adwords/Doubleclick conversion tracking codes.  What’s astonishing is how few eCommerce sites are taking advantage of remarketing tags with Google Adwords, compared to how many sites are using Google as their advertising or analytics tool (this is a huge missed opportunity):

  • 62% of top eCommerce Sites have Doubleclick on site, only 56% have Google Adwords Remarketing tags on site, and 45% have Google Adwords Conversion tracking tag
  • 59% have AppNexus
  • 54% have Right Media
  • 52% have APT from Yahoo!
  • 36% have Microsoft Atlas Solution

Of course there were many more advertising tags and tools out there but these were the big players in this grouping.

Tag Management Tools

I wanted to include this section to show the remarkably low amount of Tag Management system tools there are for top 100 eCommerce sites, compared to the amount of analytics and advertising tags are on the sites alone!  Tag management systems are critical for organizing an ever increasing digitally tagged world.  Here are some of the big players in the tag management space for top 100 eCommerce sites:

  • 14% of the top 100 eCommerce sites use BrightTag
  • 10% use Ensighten
  • 5% use Tealium
  • 3% use Google Tag Manager

Leaving about 65% of top 100 eCommerce sites not running a tag management system to organize their tags and manage site content more efficiently!  Another huge opportunity to optimize digital marketing, web analytics and online advertising efforts here.  Another plug, InfoTrust has extensive experience with Tealium and BrightTag, and we are Google Tag Manager specialists.

Get Analyzing, Advertising and Tagging!

So I hope this post gives you some perspective on what’s being utilized by the top players in the eCommerce industry.  All in all, it comes down to what your business objectives and marketing goals are before determining what tags and digital tools you should use, but looking at top companies may help.

Tag Inspector - Find All Tags Firing On Your Site


Posted by Amin Shawki

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