Cloudflare Zaraz – centralized data collation innovation
Why do you have to load so many third-party tools on your pages to collate and analyze data? Do they slow the page down?
Does this affect search engine optimization (SEO)? How do you protect your users if one of these tools is hacked?
Solutions to these challenges are available in the form of Cloudflare Zaraz, a new and innovative tool whose main function is to simplify and centralize the collation of data on websites.
We have tested it, made some suggestions for improvements, and appreciated the many benefits it offers — particularly in relation to e-commerce.
All websites collate and analyze their users' habits. Some use only Google Analytics, which allows them to assess what visitors do on a page and how, and the length of time they spend there, etc. E-commerce and larger sites collate data on a broader scale with the help of Facebook Pixel, Google Tag Manager, Microsoft Ads Pixel, Hotjar, and other tools.
When a user logs into a website, the user's browser loads pixels from Google Ads, Facebook, etc., and sends the information obtained about each user’s actions back to the relevant systems, i.e. Google, Facebook, etc. For example, a user logs into a standard online shop and clicks “Add item to cart”. The information about this action is sent to various systems — one request goes to Google Ads, another to Facebook Ads, and another to Microsoft Ads, etc.
The new Cloudflare Zaraz tool centralizes this process, reducing the load on the user's browser. In other words, when a user logs into an online shop and adds an item to the cart, the user's browser sends just one request to Cloudflare Zaraz. It loads third-party tools into the cloud outside the browsers, as well as sends all the information to the cloud, thus improving the speed, security, and privacy of the process.
This centralized approach has several benefits.
Firstly, as previously mentioned, the user's browser load is reduced, so the website they open runs a bit faster. The Google Pagespeed Score and similar quality measures also improve.
Secondly, this solution provides more precise data: if there are a lot of data aggregation pixels on a page, most likely some of them will be blocked by the user's browser's ad blocker. However, this is not the case with Cloudflare Zaraz, because all the actions are handled in the cloud.
Thirdly, connecting a new aggregation pixel via the Cloudflare Zaraz admin panel is very simple and in most cases, a programmer is not required to configure the pixel (similar to Google Tag Manager, but not as advanced).
And finally, this approach provides the page user with more security, in the event that a pixel is not secure, because there is no direct connection between the pixel and the user's device, as all data passes through Cloudflare Zaraz.
In e-commerce, this solution is a major benefit, because it enables the service provider's website to run faster. Although the difference in speed is negligible, even small nuances can make a big difference to the website’s overall performance. Data collation will also be more accurate, which is extremely important in e-commerce.
For basic needs, Cloudflare Zaraz is quite easy to set up and customize. However, there is one prerequisite — you have to use Cloudflare on your website, but this service is already used by a very large part of the internet. The setup process for normal visitor data collection will only take a few clicks, but if the specific analysis is required (custom data aggregation, e-commerce data collection, etc.), a slightly more complex initial setup will be needed — just like setting up any pixel. On the plus side, once you've done it once, it's very easy to add further pixels of this type (e.g. setting up an e-commerce data aggregation option in Google Analytics, then adding Microsoft Ads is quick and easy).
Since Cloudflare Zaraz is a new tool, it is not yet fully integrated and so some bugs may occur. For example, as a new product, not all of its usage situations are fully developed yet.
At the start of the year, we discovered that tracking e-commerce data in Google Analytics 4 was not available and that the analysis of user identity at events was also not functioning properly. We reported this to Cloudflare, contacted the product owner from the Cloudflare Zaraz team, discussed out the details, and beta-tested the product ourselves, and now the problem has now been fixed. Although it may take a few weeks, Cloudflare has put everything we need in place quite quickly.
Right now Cloudflare Zaraz is the first and as of yet only tool that centralizes and simplifies data collation.
Overall, in my opinion, it is a great solution for innovative websites whose owners want to stay several steps ahead of their competitors. If highly detailed data collation is being performed on a website, the solution may not yet be mature enough. However, overall, Cloudflare Zaraz is designed for speed, privacy, and security and allows you to load as many third-party tools as you require without needless security risks, and with next to no impact on the user's browser load.
Magebit is a full service eCommerce agency specialized in Magento. At Magebit we create the wonders of eCommerce and support small sites as well as large enterprises.
Subscribe to our blog
Get fresh content about eCommerce delivered automatically each time we publish.