Why to Use Google Tag Manager for Shopify Stores

One of the most common questions we receive is why to use Google Tag Manager on Shopify. Tracking the visitors’ and customers’ activity on a brand’s online properties is a crucial way to understand the target audience’s behaviors. And that’s where we start using tracking codes, as well as handy tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel. But let’s face it; it has been a complex, time-consuming task to add all those codes into those properties. Thankfully, there is a revolutionary tool called Google Tag Manager (GTM).

Why Google Tag Manager for Shopify

Google was aware of how time-consuming and complex it was to add and manage tags; the platform gives the code, that code was given to the developer, the marketer explains to the developer which event should be triggered, the developer sets the code and the marketer starts testing it. Now, just think about the most commonly used marketing and tracking tags (pixels) for Shopify stores only: Google Analytics, Google Ads Conversion Tags, Facebook Pixel, Hotjar, and others. Also, many businesses don’t own just one website, they usually have multiple brands, websites of those brands, and possibly mobile applications… Wow, that’s a lot of work!

Also, you would have to insert all these pixels into your website code one by one – and even you would have to use some complex conditions such as Google Analytics 4 - Shopify Integration:

  • Google Analytics 4 global tracking code to be added to your all pages,
  • Google Analytics 4 purchase event code to be added to thank you page,
  • Products and user values to be carried over to Google Analytics 4

and the list goes on…

Here comes the solution: Google Tag Manager

So, when Google announced this tool called Google Tag Manager which allows marketers to add marketing and tracking tags into the online properties without any coding knowledge, it was groundbreaking. You only have to add Google Tag Manager’s container (code) into your Shopify store and then you are ready in minutes.

Think about Google Tag Manager as a toolbox, where you keep all your tools such as Google Analytics, Google Ads etc. It is like a middleman between your tracking tools, not trying to replace your developer of course but taking a large amount of workload. It allows you to manage everything within the Google Tag Manager interface and this makes it a very handy tool especially for marketers.

In Google Tag Manager, tracking codes are called “tags”. And, The Google Tag Manager’s interface operates as a practical center to manage those tags. You can create and add new tags in seconds, and they don’t require coding.

You need to install Google Tag Manager container on your Shopify store before using it.

Which data can be tracked with GTM on Shopify?

  • All the clicks your visitors make: Links, file downloads, add to cart, remove from cart, exits etc. (as called, “events”)
  • User Engagement Metrics (such video views, scroll movements, button clicks etc.)
  • Shopping Behavior
  • Purchase Data (such as order ID, revenue, tax, shipping, products, etc.)
  • Product Data (such as product ID/name, variant ID/name, price, revenue, category etc.)
  • And many other built-in and custom events/metrics…

Benefits of Using Google Tag Manager

So, as we see that Google Tag Manager has countless benefits, we should dive deeper to understand some of the most important ones:

  1. You do not need a developer: GTM already has many tags built in and it is relatively easy to add custom tags. Once the GTM code is added to your website; you will pretty much be able to do the rest using the GTM’s interface – without having to touch the code.
  2. Fast deployment – You can deploy the tags within hours: In the old way, when the marketer wants to track certain events in certain conditions; they send everything to the developer, and the developers take their time to add those. Then the testing and validation process starts and it takes days or weeks to deploy and validate a piece of simple tag. In GTM, everything will be very fast – and usually can be done by one person.
  3. Central management for all tags: When the tags are in the code, they are forgotten and very hard to maintain. In GTM, you see and manage everything in one place.
  4. Testing & Debugging tools: GTM provides an amazing testing environment: GTM Debugger. You can easily see and test all the tags, triggers and data within the tags. As an example, when you make a test purchase, you will see if the Purchase event is triggered and which data is being sent and if that’s correct.
  5. GTM Library & community support: GTM has its own tags & triggers library that allows you to add some certain tags in some certain events within minutes. You will also find too many templates/tutorials online. As an example, if you were to track video actions in your website such as how many % of the video is being watched; GTM has its own triggers to help you out. If not, you will find 10s of tutorials online.
  6. It is free: GTM is 100% free.
  7. Version History & Workspaces: Every change is being recorded in the version history. You can also create different workspaces for different purposes.
  8. User Management & Collaboration: Just like Google Analytics, you can add users to GTM with certain permissions. That will help you get extra help without risking or delivering important passwords.

Some other advantages:

  • Your site load may become faster (Depends on how many tags you are using),
  • It collects the third-party code in one place,
  • It works with non-Google products too,
  • It gives flexibility to test almost anything,
  • With a preview and debug mode, you can check everything before going live.

And, aren’t there any downsides?

Of course, just like every tool, there is a learning curve. No one can say that GTM is easy to use on the first trial; it needs some technical knowledge, a short course or following some tutorials to understand how to set up tags, triggers and variables. The user should have an idea about how Google Analytics works, how it tracks data. Also, he/she should be able to read and understand those reports, such as which event triggered the data and why.

But don’t worry, that’s when Analyzify team comes to your help! With our free, step-by-step online tutorials you will be able to learn how to use this useful tool effectively.

You can click this link to discover our tutorials on GTM and start learning right away

Final Thoughts on Why GTM is crucial for Shopify stores Every piece of data matters in e-commerce. You want to track every possible action such as add-to-cart, add-to-wishlist, purchase, video actions and many others. Not only to track but you also want to share it with 3rd parties such as Facebook Pixel and Google Ads to get a better ROI with your Ads. GTM is your best friend for all of this. Check our other articles on this topic to get the best out of this.