Optimizing for Profit: How MandM Direct Achieved an 85% Increase in Profit with Server-side Tagging

Up to 9% increase in conversions on Facebook

85% increase in overall profit and 72% boost in profit per order

Real-time KPI monitoring utilizing the BigQuery Streaming API

The objective

Considering the growing concerns about user privacy, MandM Direct, a prominent online fashion retailer, aimed to transfer third-party tags from the browser to their own secure server, allowing greater control over data flows between their analytics and advertising systems. Their objective was to improve data quality and privacy while also enabling near real-time evaluation of key performance indicators (KPIs). To achieve this, MandM collaborated with IIH Nordic to implement server-side tagging, focusing on Google Tag Manager (GTM) and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

The Approach

Initially, the proof of concept involved comparing client-side and server-side web measurement for GA4, Google Ads, Floodlight, and Facebook across all MandM Direct markets. IIH Nordic and MandM Direct’s teams then cooperated to deploy the server-side solution in all seven of MandM’s markets, while incorporating the latest features, such as GTM server-side integrations with BigQuery and Firestore. This allowed MandM Direct to shift their analytics and advertising tags from users’ browsers to their secure server hosted on the GCP, giving MandM Direct control over the data shared with each measurement platform.

The Outcomes

The adoption of server-side GTM included IP redaction for GA4 on MandM Direct’s EU-based servers, and it minimized direct requests between their users’ devices and 3rd-party tools resulting in MandM Direct strengthening their users’ privacy.

Furthermore, by implementing server-side GTM, MandM Direct achieved a notable uplift in marketing performance. They saw up to a 9% increase in measured conversions on Facebook across all markets and improved Event Matching Quality through the use of the Facebook Conversion API. This enabled MandM Direct to more confidently allocate budgets and conduct brand lift tests.

Additionally, IIH Nordic replaced client-side Google Ads and Floodlight tagging with a completely server-side implementation using the GA4 event stream to enhance data quality and accuracy in conversion tracking.

Moreover, IIH Nordic integrated MandM Direct’s server-side Floodlight tracking with product margins stored in Firestore. This allowed MandM Direct to optimize Search Ads 360 campaigns based on profit instead of revenue, feeding the bidding algorithm with signals that better reflected their bottom line goals. While costs remained consistent, MandM Direct saw an 85% increase in overall profit and a 72% boost in profit per order (MoM).

To monitor vital business KPIs in real-time, IIH Nordic used GTM Server-Side’s BigQuery Streaming API. Combined with Looker Studio, this powerful integration allowed MandM Direct to assess essential marketing and error KPIs in real-time, enabling them to quickly adjust their strategy to capitalize on emerging trends and adjust to challenges. By replacing their previous real-time monitoring system with a custom-built solution, MandM Direct saved costs and gained more flexibility and granularity in the collected data using GA4’s event-based data model.

In summary, the successful transition to GA4 and server-side GTM has allowed MandM Direct to enhance data privacy, data quality, and real-time KPI evaluation across all markets. They are now well-equipped to continue their growth and success in the coming years. They are now well-equipped to continue their growth and success in the coming years.

By teaming up with IIH Nordic and adopting server-side GTM, we’ve unlocked valuable insights and enhanced our data privacy. These changes have future proofed our tracking and empowered the MandM marketing teams to make better informed decisions based on more reliable data.

Tom Goode, Customer and Ecommerce Director, MandM Direct

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