If you want a job done well, do it yourself. We tend to forget it nowadays, but that old adage contains a scrap of Shopify’s DNA.
A long time has passed since Snowdevil, the online snowboard store, which was built on the Ruby on Rails framework. That was back in 2004, and since then the project has transformed itself, making Shopify one of the most promising SaaS-based e-commerce platforms.
Initially reserved for small stores and limited uses, Shopify is increasingly being adopted by large organizations and brands motivated by the idea of having a direct sales channel to their consumers. Simplicity and agility win the day with organizations that often suffer from long and complex proprietary projects, where the market forces brands to keep adapting.
Flagged up by our consultants, Shopify’s progress led us, at Commanders Act, to create a Shopify connector so that any of our customers interested in the platform could rapidly deploy their favourite tag management solution TagCommander on it, along with TrustCommander, the now-indispensable consent management solution (since May 2018 and the GRDP). Obviously, if TagCommander can be deployed in a matter of minutes, so can our other solutions, as their tags are directly deployable via our TMS with the native integrations you are familiar with.
How does it work?
The current TagCommander plugin works with Shopify Pro.
In concrete terms, there are just a few simple steps:
- Log in to Shopify, on your Admin account.
- In the Themes section, you will need to add 2 files (Copy/Paste) and edit 3 templates.
- A configuration console opens, allowing you to enter the settings of your Commanders Act account.
- You are ready to go!
If you need more details, no problem: you can find more detailed instructions on GitHub here.
As soon as the plugin has been extended to Shopify Basic, we will update the documentation with the relevant instructions.
The benefits of plug-ins clearly always revolve around the same goals:
- Drastically reducing implementation (and therefore project delivery) times. We’re talking minutes now instead of weeks.
- Easier (“codeless”) integration allowing hybrid profiles to take control without being hard-core developers.
- A standardised datalayer, which is retrieved automatically and no longer requires a specific command addressed to the integrator (on top of all the other jobs they have to deal with).
- And the possibility, since this technology will expand over the coming months and years, of activating digital data collection in “server-2-server” mode, aka “server-side” or “API-based tracking”.
Who is the Shopify connector aimed at?
With the Covid crisis and its impact on distribution networks, many brands have been giving a lot more thought to how best to control their distribution networks. When distributors close, the whole business collapses. When the distribution network is closed, the only way to carry on existing is through the website, via e-commerce. Accelerating online investments so as have at least one channel maintaining business continuity (at least partially) is a strategic option that has gained a lot of credibility during the crisis.
The connector is “live” and is being used by several customers, often teams looking to sell online, especially retailers. Their order tunnel is generally simple (simpler than those found in the credit or insurance sectors, for example). The structure of the sites is also fairly homogeneous; major templates are gradually emerging, allowing the datalayer to standardise as well. Finally, retailers need short time-to-market in an arena that – in general, but even more so as we come out of the Covid-19 crisis – requires agility to survive.
And afterwards… what are the next steps for Commanders Act?
The current plugin works with Shopify Pro but we are getting requests to make it compatible with Shopify Basic. That need will soon be covered.
To this end, we have been using the possibilities offered by “themes” in Shopify.
One way of taking it further would be to go through an “app”, in the Shopify jargon, to functionally enrich the plugin, making it even easier to install.
We are waiting for the go-ahead from our customers to continue in this direction.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our consultant Diego who has really got to grips with this topic and carried it through, to the great satisfaction of our customers.
I hope you will take the opportunity to use the Shopify plugin in TagCommander!