Digital Data Layer - the heart of your tag-management system

    It's no secret that the more data you have about your customers, the more opportunities you have to build more personalized communications with your client, which directly affects conversion, loyalty and profit.

    However, along with the rapidly growing amount of data, there are more and more difficulties in their effective management. The modern online store cooperates with a large number of marketing partners, tags and services, which in order to work effectively need to transmit various data about their own users anyway.


    In turn, each such partner has some unique knowledge about the client, which would also be useful for the online store. However, getting this data back is sometimes not so simple. Moreover, it is worth stopping work with a partner, they can be lost forever.

    Each third-party service owns a part of the “puzzle”, knowing some information about the user. However, the store does not have a unified and holistic user profile.

    The following is an example of what data each of the third-party systems may possess. All this data is often isolated and the online store does not know how to get it:


    The need to implement and standardize the process of transferring user data from an online store to a partner (to third-party tags) and vice versa is becoming increasingly clear. The problem is that all affiliate systems have their own data structure, collect and transmit them in various ways.

    This leads to the fact that the data on the client side is not organized. There is no order, integrity, or coherence. There is no control over how and by whom data is collected and used.

    Attempts to figure out this data chaos take a huge amount of time and money, which does not at all correspond to a fast and flexible data-driven culture. Employees of online stores have to spend time on routine things and endless integration, instead of working on strategic tasks that directly affect profit. This significantly slows down the speed and efficiency of the organization as a whole.


    Therefore, the most innovative companies have realized that before conducting any marketing activities, it is necessary to resolve the issue of data organization once and for all.

    Launched a few days ago, the project is designed to solve this problem!

    What is a Digital Data Layer?

    Today, on any modern site, dozens of third-party services and tags are installed. Each of them performs different tasks and uses the data in its own format. Thus, the integration process of such services becomes complicated and inefficient. The site code gets dirty, the download speed decreases. Everything becomes even more complicated when it becomes necessary to transfer data between third-party systems and tags.

    To solve this problem, the Digital Data Layer standard was created. This is an open set of rules that define the standards for interaction and data transfer between the site and third-party systems.


    Digital Data Layer (DDL) is a global JavaScript object that contains all dynamically variables that reflect the current state of the page and user session. All variables inside DDL can be used inside tag management systems, such as Google Tag Manager, as well as other vendors and scripts installed on the site.


    For example, DDL may contain information about the products viewed (id, price, etc.), information about the user (name, email, this user is new or returning, whether he is subscribed to the newsletter or not), or information about products that were just bought on an e-commerce site.


    Benefits of using


    If you look into the code of your Google Tag Manager you will see what kind of chaos is happening there. Data not organized. There is no order, integrity and coherence. There is no control over how and by whom data is collected and used.

    Each third-party service imposes its own format for transmitting the same data. Your site code turns into a dump of third-party tag calls, which leads to difficulties in understanding what is going on on the site.

    With the Digital Data Layer, code becomes unified and streamlined. The same data is used many times and simply converted to different formats.



    The presence of the implemented Digital Data Layer opens up opportunities for advanced segmentation. For example, DDL allows you to target marketing campaigns according to certain criteria:

    • Target users with LTV> 100,000 rubles.
    • Which over the past month have not opened a single letter from the mailing list.


    DDL also allows you to target users using historical data and data transmitted by third-party scripts and tags.


    On each page where the Digital Data Layer is implemented, analytical systems get the opportunity to collect the information that is in it. This opens up additional possibilities in analytics and understanding how various variables affect the conversion.

    But more importantly, having this data helps identify potential problems on the site. Then, hypotheses based on these data can be developed to eliminate them.


    Each site very often comes up against the need to install and configure new tags (scripts of third-party vendors). It’s easy to see that most tags need the same data, for example:

    • Order ID
    • Order price
    • List of purchased items
    • Product Name
    • Product ID
    • Page type

    As soon as you integrate Digital Data Layer, you can install new tags without any need to make changes to the site code. All this can be done directly in your Tag Management system.



    Do you want to show retargeting only to users who do not open your email newsletter? Previously, integration could take months. Now all you have to do is download data from ESP about opening emails in the Digital Data Layer, which will enable the retargeting system to build the desired segment.



    Do you want to completely replace any third-party system with another, or conduct a test between them?

    Now the migration will take you no more than 5 minutes. In this case, no changes on the site will be required, because all communication is now done through a standardized data layer.



    The integration of Digital Data Layer will be an invaluable investment in the future of your website, as this is essentially the foundation of data-driven marketing.



    Detailed documentation and examples of using DDL can be found at .

    The introduction of DDL usually takes 2 to 5 days. Upon completion, any new integration of third-party services will be done 8-10 times faster (often even without the involvement of IT-specialists).

    Despite the fact that DDL can work completely autonomously (since it is a simple JavaScript object), you still have the opportunity to use the Open Source library - Digital Data Manager .

    Digital Data Manager contains many useful functions for working with events and changes within DDL. More detailed technical documentation can be found on the project website - events.

    In addition, Digital Data Manager allows you to add custom integrations with which you can use DDL data and transmit it to Google Analytics, GTM, Driveback, Retail Rocket, Criteo and any other third-party system.

    The implementation of the standard has already taken up several fairly large online stores and soon the first results will be known. If anyone is interested, I will be glad to share these cases in future publications.

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