December 16, 2010, 2:12 PM

Apparel retailer Boden uses better tags to cut marketing costs

The technology enables the U.K. firm to determine where shoppers are coming from.

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Boden, a online apparel retailer based in the United Kingdom, has managed to reduce its online marketing costs with new coding that tracks the performance of web ads, says Oliver Elliot, the company’s online acquisition manager. 

About a year ago, Boden installed tracking tags from vendor TagMan. Tracking tags are pieces of code that monitor the performance of online advertising campaigns. They help online retailers determine where shoppers come from—an e-mail marketing message, for instance, or a paid search ad—and adjust marketing efforts accordingly.

Boden, like many retailers, relied on multiple ad tags, with each tag sending its own stream of data; in Boden’s case, the retailer used at least 30 tags, Elliot says. That marketing data overload can leave a retailer unclear about what led a consumer to purchase, and can result in a retailer paying duplicate commissions to marketing partners such as affiliate web sites.

The TagMan system allows a retailer to install a single TagMan tag on any web page to encompass all of the page’s ad-tracking tags. TagMan client retailers can add, edit or remove tracking tags via a web browser.

“We wanted to solve the question of how people come to our site,” he says. “With the tags and all the data they delivered housed in one place, we would be able to see the step-by-step precise and complete journey of converting customers.”

Using a single set of tags to determine a shopper’s path has enabled Boden to reduce by some 10% to 15% the amount it pays online affiliates that display the retailer’s ads.

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