FB Conversion API on Shopify
Facebook and Instagram are the #1 sales and marketing channels for Shopify store owners. Facebook Conversion API (aka CAPI) has become an incredibly hot topic after Apple’s revolutionary data sharing and processing changes with iOS 14. In this article, we will take a deep dive into Facebook Pixel, Facebook Conversion API, the differences between them, their importance, best practices, and most importantly how to set up FB Conversion API on Shopify.
Why Use Facebook Conversion
API for Shopify Stores
In a nutshell, there are three core reasons based on three facts:
After iOS14 changes that Apple released in April 2021 (*1), Apple users have the opportunity to opt-out from tracking. As Apple states: "App developers are required to ask users for their permission to track them across apps and websites owned by other companies".
Effect on Tracking
When a visitor clicks on a website ad on Instagram and Facebook mobile apps, the website opens in a special browser called in-app Safari. Tracking is not allowed there as Safari and Instagram/Facebook are different apps. The only thing passed is the FB Click ID. However, this is of no use if the user does not immediately purchase the product.
FB Conversion API works on the server-side and tries to attribute the users using user data, which we will explain in more detail below.
27% of American internet users and 42% of global users use ad blockers.(*2) Effect on tracking: Ad blockers block the FB Pixel and all possible tracking requests.
Effect on Tracking
So when the user lands on the website the tracking is lost and no data is shared with Facebook anymore. Facebook won’t know which user added to the cart or purchased the product.
Safari, Firefox and Mozilla have become stricter with 3rd party cookies. Effect on tracking: As detailed in this article, Facebook leaves a cookie on the user’s browser in order to be able to associate the further actions.
Effect on Tracking
If the visitor buys the next day rather than in the same session, the FB Pixel will recognize the user from the cookie. However, as 3rd party cookie lifetime is now very short (7 days usually), it becomes very difficult to detect.
FB Conversion API and Shopify server-side tagging in general works on the cloud - server-side. So the ad blockers don’t block those requests.
FB Pixel vs. FB
Facebook Pixel is one of the first things to install when you create a Shopify store because you (and Facebook) want to know in what ways the visitors interact with your website. For example;
- Which visitors clicked the ads and landed into your Shopify store,
- What actions they took (such as page viewing, product viewing, adding to cart, starting the payment, completing the purchase),
- Product-level information (that they viewed, added to cart or purchased) for retargeting campaigns,
- Purchase-level information such as revenue, products, quantity, shipping cost, etc.,
- User-level information (user’s FB click ID to associate the user to the correct campaign or ad groups)
All of this data is sent to Facebook via Pixel so that the marketing team or Shopify store owner should know which ads/ad copies/products/platforms/images perform better and calculate ROI.
However, Facebook Pixel works at the browser level. Thus, requests and data are processed through the visitor’s browser. It is vulnerable to ad blockers, iOS limitations, and browser cookie policies.
FB Conversion API works at the server level. Requests are sent directly to Facebook Servers from Shopify Server or from your own server, depending on the FB CAPI Setup Shopify method you use.
For example, when a purchase occurs, all user information (first name, last name, zip code, email, etc.) is sent to Facebook at the server level along with the purchase event. Facebook CAPI tries to find that specific user within the list of users that clicked the ad.
You can imagine this as manually checking users on both sides. Facebook already has the list of all users who saw and/or clicked on the ad. And it can not track further. Facebook CAPI, on the other hand, sends another user list together with the purchase event. In this way, FB Server tries to match the users who click the ads with the users who make purchases. Of course, this is not as simple as we described, and much more complex than that. We just illustrated it in a simple way :)
Facebook calls this technology Advanced Matching Web, and you can learn more about it on their official documentation.
How to Setup Facebook
Conversion API on Shopify
There are several ways to set up FB CAPI on Shopify stores. The fastest and easiest one is obviously the native integration using the Facebook Sales Channel. It only installs the FB CAPI on the Shopify server. Remember — this is not a complete server-side tagging setup. Therefore, you will continue to have problems with remarketing events. If you are looking for complete server-side tagging, including FB CAPI, Google Analytics, and Google Ads, then you should consider Analyzify Server-Side Tagging Add-on.
- Native Shopify Facebook CAPI Integration
- Analyzify Server-Side Tagging Add-on
- Analyzify Youtube Server-Side Tagging Course (to be announced soon)
Client-Side Tracking is the typical tracking method
that almost all websites currently use.
One-Time Fee - Including Setup, Validation, Support and, Training
Analyzify Server-Side Tagging is a great deal. We will set up everything for you, validate, deliver, maintain and train your team.
- Google Cloud Server-Side Tagging Instance Setup
- Google Tag Manager Server-Side Setup
- Google Analytics (UA + GA4),
- Google Ads Server-Side (Enhanced Conversions),
- Facebook Conversion API Setup
- Data Validation / Custom Adjustments
- 12 Months Support
- 2-Hours 1-on-1 Data & Server-Side Tagging Training
What Our Clients Said About Analyzify
We are thrilled to have many happy clients. You can also check the public reviews on Shopify App Store.
"So glad we went with Analyzify. Amazing value and a super helpful tech team who spotted a bunch of tracking disasters and fixed them. Really happy :)"
"These guys are the real deal; we had thrown everything at our disposal for fixing our Google Analytics tracking issues with our shopify store but nothing worked. They not only fixed the GA tracking but also setup GA4. Absolutely amazing"
- Avengarde Global
"The analyzify team went beyond just installing G4 through tag manager. When I was trying to do it myself I realized that i needed to spend a lot time on figuring out what events, triggers and tags to install. If i were to do everything that analyzify did i would have had to spend days just learning how and what to do. The video that explains everything that they did and the suggestions given are the icing on the cake. Thank you!"
"Great app, amazing support, very happy with the purchase. It's great to finally have the proper GTM set up, only regret is that we didn't discover this app sooner. Thanks to the whole team!"
- Dog's Lounge
"Amazing customer service and the whole Analyzify team is fantastic, really helped iron out some reporting issues after the iOS updated which helped BIG TIME! Thanks so much Analyzify team!"
- Alpha Sole
"You are not just getting a clever app that will save you hours of setting up your analytics but also the amazing customer service. They are super helpful and ready to answer any question you may have. I am very happy with the purchase. Thank..."
- Cream Chargers NZ
"This is an analytics powerhouse of a service. Amazing people who over-deliver on everything.. Best investment we have made in understanding our stores performance."
- Naturally Boosted
" Great plugin to have all the data on your Store and the various visitor behaviors! (and therefore do very powerful marketing actions) The support is fantastic, they customized everything for my store! Super recommended! "
- Olio Sommariva
" After another app completely messed up and shopify failed to resolve we had approached Analyzify where we not only had solved the problem of the tracking but also now have much ore detailed Analytics , great app great support and after sales support. "
- Kichri Store
" I have been working with these guys for a few weeks now, and absolutely nothing short of amazing! The support is above and beyond anything I've received in any other app, and the product opens up so much data and information to drive the growth and success of the business, its hard to believe at first. The data is instantly relevant, and actionable. In todays marketplace with everyone moving to online, this is the edge businesses like mine need to stand out, and the Analyzify team have been with me every step of the way. Awesome, Amazing, Insightful and a probably the best value on the entire Shopify App Store. "
- CB Music Centre
" Great app and great support. They set up our GTM and Google Analytics 4 accounts and even made an educational video call with us to show how we can benefit from GA4. Highly recommended. "
- Dirty Boots & Messy Hair
" Such a helpful team behind this app. They helped me get started and went above and beyond to get us setup how we wanted. Thanks!!. "
" Our store has a complex setup with a few external domains. The app worked great with Google Tag Manager and Analytics 4. The support also helped us with cross domain tracking very much. "
- Vanmate Van Alarms & Van Security
" We wanted to get greater control over event tracking via GTM to improve our understanding of how customers are interacting with our store. We struggled with the frankly complicated setup until we came across Analyzify. It has been the perfect solution for our requirements and the dev team are truly outstanding. They patiently answered our queries and have been quick and efficient in resolving our support requests. Wonderful product by an even better team, highly recommend them if you wish to understand your customers better and boost your sales! "