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Setting Up Meta's Conversion API Using Shopify's Direct Integration

Written by Kim

Navigating Major Industry Shifts with Meta’s Conversions API

Just when marketers thought they had it all figured out, the iOS 14.5 update, cookie and ad blockers and now the looming Chrome third-party deprecation rolled in like a storm, upending tracking traditions.

To tackle these major industry shifts and help advertisers deliver successful campaigns and measure results accurately, Meta is advocating the use of its Conversions API. This tool enhances control over the data sent to Meta.

In this post, we will tackle:

  • The impact of third-party cookie deprecation
  • What is Meta’s Conversions API?
  • Conversions API Implementation Options
  • Setting Up Meta Conversions API Using Shopify’s Direct Integration

A Cookieless Future

Advertisers have traditionally relied heavily on third-party cookies for ad targeting, audience segmentation, and measuring conversions across websites. However, due to privacy concerns from consumers, and data privacy regulations like GDPR, there has been a growing pressure to phase out third-party cookies.

The phase-out for third-party cookies started a few years ago, with browsers like Apple’s Safari removing them in 2017 and then later on Firefox in 2019. On January 4, 2024, after a few years of delay, Google deprecated third-party cookies for 1% of randomly selected Chrome users worldwide to test alternative solutions (collectively called the Privacy Sandbox). Pending approval from the UK Competition and Markets Authority, Google plans to deprecate 100% of Chrome third-party cookies in Q1 of 2025 (pushed back from Q3 2024).

What would third-party cookies deprecation mean to advertisers?

The removal of third-party cookies certainly marks a positive step towards improving user data protection. Yet, this change isn’t quite a win for advertisers. With third-party cookies out of the equation, valuable user actions like purchases, page views, and cart additions might slip through the cracks. Previously tracked via cookies, these user actions may not be captured or reported back to advertising platforms such as Meta. This gap could significantly affect advertisers’ ability to manage campaigns effectively, measure performance, and, ultimately, hit revenue goals.

Anticipating these challenges, Meta stepped up with a solution: the Conversions API (CAPI). This tool sidesteps the traditional cookie-based tracking system by enabling direct data transmission from servers to the advertising platform, effectively maintaining data flow and campaign efficacy without infringing on user privacy.

 

What is Meta’s Conversions API?

Meta’s Conversions API offers a server-to-server integration, enabling businesses to directly send web event data and offline conversion events from their servers to Meta’s advertising platforms, such as Facebook Ads Manager. By relying less on browser technologies compared to the Meta Pixel, the Conversions API not only improves the utilization of current data for enhanced performance but also boosts the resilience of marketing strategies for future changes.

Key Features of Meta’s Conversions API

  • Creates a direct connection between a business’s marketing data (website events, app events, offline conversions) and Meta’s ad systems, bypassing browser limitations.
  • Not affected by restrictions on third-party cookies, ad blockers, or Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP), ensuring more accurate conversion tracking.
  • Enables tracking of offline events like in-store purchases or call conversions in addition to online events.
  • Provides a comprehensive view of the customer journey across channels for better ad targeting and measurement.
  • Offers a privacy-compliant solution as it doesn’t depend on browser cookies for user tracking.
  • Recommended by Meta to be used in conjunction with the Facebook Pixel for maximum data coverage.

Conversions API Implementation Options

Setting up Meta’s Conversions API can be straightforward, depending on the advertiser’s platform and integration preferences. Here’s a breakdown of the four setup options:

1. Commerce Platform Integrations: Platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, and BigCommerce offer easy Conversions API integration, requiring only a few clicks and no additional cost.

2. Conversions API Gateway: This is a code-free, self-service option within Meta’s Events Manager, making setup quick and straightforward. It can be particularly useful for managing multiple business accounts, as it allows for a single configuration to be used across various businesses.

This method requires using a cloud server provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Learn more about implementing Conversions API using the API Gateway Method here.

3. Partner Integrations:
Website Platforms: If the website is hosted on a platform partnered with Meta, such as Adobe or Google Tag Manager, the Conversions API can be integrated through these partners.
Messaging Platforms: Integration is also possible through certain messaging partners that support business messaging events.

4. Direct Integration Using Code:
For those who need more control over the integration, a direct coding approach is available. This method requires a developer and can be configured to handle various types of events, including website, app, offline, or messaging events. Follow this official guide from Meta to manually implement Conversions API using code.

 

Setting Up Conversions API Using Shopify’s Direct Integration

Step 1: Install the Facebook (Meta) channel in your Shopify store by going to the “Apps” tab and and adding the “Facebook and Instagram” app.

Step 2: Once installed, click on the Facebook app under the Sales Channel menu. Click Start Setup. You’ll be prompted to connect and verify your Facebook account and password.

Step 3: Verify that the correct Business Manager, pixel, and FB page are selected.
Enable Automatic Advanced Matching. This ensures Shopify passes all relevant customer data for better user-matching/cross-device tracking, and improved attribution modeling.

Step 4: After setting up the Facebook Sales Channel app, head over to ‘Settings’.

Step 5: In the data-sharing settings, choose the ‘Maximum’ option, which triggers the Conversions API. Verify that the right pixel is connected and click ‘Confirm’

Step 7: If you had previously integrated the Facebook pixel directly into your Shopify site’s code, you should remove this code from the liquid or theme files to avoid duplicating event counts. Additionally, if conversion tracking for Facebook was set up through another method (such as Google Tag Manager), you should pause or remove this setup to prevent duplicate conversions.

Step 8: Finally, perform a test to confirm that browser events are being properly triggered on your website.

Conclusion

The phase-out of third-party cookies is fast approaching, making it essential for online businesses to mitigate its effects. Advertisers who are quick to embrace new technologies and best practices stand to gain a significant competitive edge.

Adopting Meta’s Conversions API goes beyond simply adjusting to new tech; it presents a chance to enhance current advertising tactics, ensuring better performance and compliance with privacy standards.

If you have yet to explore the advantages of the Meta Conversions API—or similar APIs from other advertising platforms—now is the perfect moment to start. For more insights into CAPI, here’s the official documentation from Meta.

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