Editor’s Note: The following is a guest blog post by David DeFranza, senior content strategist at Brooks Bell, an enterprise-level web site optimization and A/B split-testing firm.
For most people, August is dominated by the final days of summer and the back-to-school scramble. Consumers may be searching for deals on notebooks and pencils, but few if any have given thought to the holiday shopping season. The opposite is true, however, for retailers. Indeed, preparations for the busiest shopping season of the year are in full swing and ecommerce sites are working to redesign, rebuild, test, and optimize their pages ahead of the rush. With so much at stake, online retailers can’t risk performance dips or broken experiences during the holidays and, as such, must invest considerable resources in advance.
In fact, stability is so important that many sites enforce a strict “code freeze” leading into and through Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This prevents the introduction of new features or code that haven’t gone through a thorough QA review—but it also limits the opportunity to serve relevant offers, launch flash sales, or maximize productivity by responding to customer behavior. Of course tag management is a powerful tool for working through these code freezes. By serving as a central hub of a unified marketing system, tag management allows marketers and merchandisers to adjust testing and analytics tools without changing the site code—creating an opportunity to test through the busy holiday season.