If you have young sons like I do, you might have been exposed to the children’s show “Bob the Builder”. Regard­less of your expo­sure, you most likely have heard the show’s com­mon catch phrase. When Bob and his team are faced with a chal­lenge to fix some­thing that is bro­ken, one of Bob’s friends asks, “Can we fix it?!”, to which every­body in the gang replies emphat­i­cally, “Yes we can!!” All is well and good at that point, but in a ges­ture of doubt or out­right rebel­lion, Bob’s friend Lofty quickly follows-up the famous catch phrase with one of his own: “Uh… yeah, I think so!”

Over the years, retail clients that I have worked with in the past have asked me ques­tions like:

  • Can we track this new spe­cial fea­ture that’s on the website?”
  • Can we track how many times peo­ple click on this button?”
  • Can we track how long vis­i­tors hover over this link?”
  • Can you give me every Site­Cat­a­lyst plu­gin that you offer your clients?”

To these types of ques­tions, I can say with cer­tainty, “Yes we can!!”   In my his­tory with the com­pany, I have rarely seen a sit­u­a­tion in which Site­Cat­a­lyst could not track cer­tain activ­ity that takes place on a web­site.    In other words, if there’s a will, there is a way with Site­Cat­a­lyst.   But at the same time that I say, “Yes we can!!” I also develop Lofty’s some­what cyn­i­cal atti­tude and have to slightly shake my head at such ques­tions.  Now, the prob­lem with address­ing these sorts of ques­tions doesn’t come from the abil­ity to address them; rather, the prob­lem is that in many cases, the client that asks these sorts of ques­tions doesn’t have a good foun­da­tion in place for their Site­Cat­a­lyst imple­men­ta­tion just yet.   I’m reminded of the movie Juras­sic Park, in which Ian Mal­colm warned John Ham­mond against using exist­ing DNA for cloning dinosaurs by saying,”…your sci­en­tists were so pre­oc­cu­pied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

In other words, Site­Cat­a­lyst can track new fea­tures on your web­site but we con­sul­tants are some­times hes­i­tant to offer new track­ing solu­tions if we feel the fun­da­men­tal solu­tions cur­rently in place in your imple­men­ta­tion need improve­ment.  We’ve found that many clients, for what­ever rea­son, begin their imple­men­ta­tion engage­ments with us by ask­ing for solu­tions that track “triv­ial” activ­ity rather than the con­tent and tools that we feel mat­ter the most on their site.  We’re happy to oblige the client’s request but when this hap­pens, the imple­men­ta­tion usu­ally spi­rals out of con­trol and will ulti­mately pre­vent the most usable and action­able data from ever com­ing to light.

So, our Adobe Retail Con­sult­ing team has a goal to make sure that every client has a good foun­da­tion in place for their imple­men­ta­tion before the client begins to track some­thing that could be con­sid­ered either a lit­tle more advanced or down­right triv­ial.   Once the foun­da­tional imple­men­ta­tion is work­ing cor­rectly and the result­ing data is being used per best prac­tices to help ana­lyze and opti­mize your site, then we would be thrilled to help intro­duce more advanced solu­tions to your implementation.

A solid foundation

Imple­ment­ing the retail fun­da­men­tal solu­tions for Site­Cat­a­lyst, which will help pro­vide that solid foun­da­tion for you to build upon, might seem like a daunt­ing task at first.  And def­i­nitely, in the past, the meth­ods we in con­sult­ing used to get clients up and run­ning were poten­tially dif­fi­cult to fol­low com­pletely.   The server-side devel­op­ment work, for exam­ple, was hard to pull off due to issues like a lack of devel­oper resources, a lack of famil­iar­ity with Site­Cat­a­lyst code, lack of qual­ity doc­u­men­ta­tion, hol­i­day code freezes, and so forth.  But now, with the intro­duc­tion of new prod­ucts and tech­nolo­gies like Adobe Tag­Man­ager and Site­Cat­a­lyst pro­cess­ing rules, not to men­tion improve­ments in the stan­dard doc­u­men­ta­tion pro­vided by Adobe Con­sult­ing, the Retail Con­sult­ing team feels that the list of excuses for not hav­ing a solid imple­men­ta­tion in place is grow­ing shorter and shorter.    This is an excit­ing time because we can arm you with the knowl­edge you need to have the most awe­some Site­Cat­a­lyst imple­men­ta­tion possible.

Can we fix it? Yes we can!!