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Facebook CAPI: What It Is, and How to Set It Up
Last Updated:  
January 25, 2023

Facebook CAPI: What It Is, and How to Set It Up

Facebook’s Conversions API (CAPI) is a powerful marketing enablement tool that helps direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands track and optimize their marketing efforts on the social media platform. It was created in response to the recent changes in iOS14, which have made it more difficult for brands to track conversions using traditional methods.

Looking ahead, we'll explore what Conversions API is, why it was created, and why it's critical for DTC brands. We'll also dive into the core differences between Conversions API and server-side conversion tracking, and provide a step-by-step breakdown of how to implement Conversions API.

What is Facebook CAPI?

Before the release of iOS14, businesses could use Facebook's tracking pixels to track user behavior on their website or mobile app. However, with the release of iOS14, Apple introduced new privacy measures that limit the data that can be collected by tracking pixels. This has made it significantly more difficult for businesses to track conversions, understand user behavior on their site, and interpret efficiencies and opportunities of their advertising efforts.

Conversions API was created as a solution to this problem.

The API provides digital marketers and brand owners with more accurate and reliable data about the performance of their ads. It also allows them to continue to track user behavior on their website or app, even if users have turned off third-party cookies or limited data tracking on their devices. This is particularly important for businesses that rely on Facebook and Instagram for advertising and customer acquisition.

The difference between server-side tracking and CAPI

Facebook’s Conversions API and server-side tracking are both used to track conversions on a website, but they work in slightly different ways.

Conversions API is a JavaScript-based tracking method that is added to a website's front-end code. It works by sending data from the user's browser to the Facebook servers, where it’s used to track conversions and build custom audiences. The API is typically used to track conversions that occur on a website, such as a purchase or a sign-up.

Server-side tracking, on the other hand, is a tracking method that is implemented on the website's back-end. It works by sending data directly from the website's server to the Facebook servers, bypassing the user's browser. This method is typically used when the data being tracked is sensitive or personally identifiable, or when the user's browser is unable to support the JavaScript required for Conversions API.

It's worth noting that server-side tracking is more secure than client-side tracking methods because the data is transmitted directly from the website's server to Facebook servers, bypassing the user's browser, which reduces the risk of data being blocked or malformed. The downside is that server side tracking is significantly more difficult to set up than Facebook’s Conversions API.

Why Facebook Conversions API is critical for DTC brands

For direct-to-consumer brands using Shopify, Facebook Conversions API is incredibly important for a few key reasons.

First, it allows for more accurate conversion tracking conversions for direct to consumer brands that rely on Facebook advertising to drive sales. If you're not accurately tracking your conversions, you're likely missing out on valuable insights that could help you optimize your marketing and sales efforts.

Second, Facebook Conversions API can help you better understand the customer journey. By tracking conversions from start to finish, you can see exactly which ads and campaigns are driving the most sales. This can help you make more informed decisions about where to allocate your advertising budget.

Third, Facebook Conversions API can help you identify and target high-value customers. By tracking conversions, you can see which customers are most likely to make a purchase, and then target them with personalized ads and offers.

How to set up Facebook Conversions API

So, now that you know why you need Facebook Conversions API in your life, how do you implement it? Facebook has made the process very simple and can be broken down into a few easy steps.

Note: if you already have a Facebook Business Manager and Pixel set up on your site skip to Step 5.

Step 1: Set up a Facebook Business Account

The first step in implementing Facebook Conversions API is to set up a Facebook Business account. This will give you access to the Facebook Ads Manager and Facebook Pixel, which are necessary for tracking customer interactions.

Step 2: Create a Facebook Pixel

Once you have a Facebook Business account, you'll need to create a Facebook Pixel. This is a small piece of code that you'll need to place on your website in order to track customer interactions.

Step 3a: Install the Facebook Pixel on Your Shopify Store

Once you have a Facebook Pixel, you'll need to install it on your Shopify store. This can be done by going to the "Online Store" section of your Shopify dashboard and selecting "Preferences." From here, you'll be able to add the Facebook Pixel to your website.

Step 3b: Install the Facebook Pixel on Your WooCommerce Store:

  • Install the Facebook for WooCommerce plugin: Go to the WordPress plugin repository and search for the "Facebook for WooCommerce" plugin. Install and activate the plugin.
  • Connect the plugin to your Facebook account: Go to the plugin settings and connect it to your Facebook account. This will allow the plugin to access your pixel and other Facebook features.
  • Configure the plugin settings: Go to the plugin settings and configure the settings to your preference. Make sure to enter the pixel ID from step 1 in the "Facebook Pixel ID" field.
  • Configure the Conversion API: Go to the plugin settings and find the "Conversion API" section. Here, you can enable the Conversion API and configure the settings.

Step 4: Test the Facebook Pixel

After you've installed the Facebook Pixel on your store, it's important to test it to make sure it's working properly. You can do this by using the Facebook Pixel Helper, a free tool that allows you to test the Facebook Pixel on your website.

Step 5: Set up Facebook Conversions API

Once you've tested the Facebook Pixel and ensured that it's working properly, you can set up Facebook Conversions API. This can be done by going to the "Ads Manager" section of your Facebook Business account and selecting "Conversions API." From here, you'll be able to set up and configure the Facebook Conversions API for your website.

Now that you’ve set up Conversions API you’ll need to set up events in Conversions API is a simple process that can be done in a few steps:

  1. Create an event in your website or mobile app.

    In order to track conversions using the Conversions API, you first need to create an event in your website or mobile app. An event is a specific action that you want to track, such as a purchase or sign-up.

  2. Get your Facebook pixel's ID.

    In order to set up events in the Conversions API, you will need your Facebook pixel's ID. You can find this in the Facebook Ads Manager by going to the "Pixels" tab and selecting the pixel you want to use.

  3. Set up the event in the Facebook Events Manager.

    Once you have your pixel's ID, you can set up your event in the Facebook Events Manager. Go to the "Events Manager" tab and select "Create Event." Select the pixel you want to use and enter the details of your event.

  4. Add the event code to your website or mobile app.

    After setting up your event in the Facebook Events Manager, you will be given a code that you need to add to your website or mobile app. This code will send information about the event to Facebook when it is triggered.

  5. Test the event.

    Before you start using the Conversions API to track your event, it's important to test it. You can do this by triggering the event in your website or mobile app and checking the Facebook Events Manager to see if the event was registered.

  6. Track your event: Once your event is set up and working correctly, you can use the Conversions API to track it. You can view the event data in the Facebook Events Manager and use it to optimize your ad campaigns and target users more effectively.

Now that your events are set up you’ll need to prioritize them. There are a variety of events that you can set for Facebook's Conversions API, including:

  • Purchase events: This event tracks purchases made on your website or mobile app.
  • Lead generation events: This event tracks when users sign up for a newsletter, request more information, or complete a form on your website or mobile app.
  • Content view events: This event tracks when users view specific pages or content on your website or mobile app.
  • Add to cart events: This event tracks when users add items to their cart on your website or mobile app.
  • Add payment info events: This event tracks when users add payment information on your website or mobile app.
  • Initiate checkout events: This event tracks when users initiate the checkout process on your website or mobile app.
  • Search events: This event tracks when users search for specific items on your website or mobile app.
  • Custom events: You can create custom events to track specific actions on your website or mobile app.

You are not limited to a certain number of events that you can set for Facebook's Conversions API. However, it is recommended to limit and prioritize the events you are tracking on those that are important to your business, so that you don't get inundated with a bunch of useless data.

It's also important to note that when you create an event, you should set up custom parameters to track additional information such as product IDs, item names, and prices. This information can be used to focus your retargeting efforts based on specific actions users take on your site.

In summary, Facebook's Conversions API is a powerful tool that allows digital marketers and brand owners to track conversions and understand user behavior, optimize ad campaigns, and target users more effectively. But if you want to have even better understanding of your customers behavior try Triple Pixel - Installing the Triple Pixel on your site will bridge the gap that Apple’s privacy policy has created between your website and digital ad platforms.

About the Author

Justin Buckley

Co-Founder at ATTN Agency | Activating Brand’s Potential through Performance & Growth Digital Marketing | Over $180mm Revenue Driven YTD | Forbes Agency Council

Justin Buckley

Co-Founder at ATTN Agency | Activating Brand’s Potential through Performance & Growth Digital Marketing | Over $180mm Revenue Driven YTD | Forbes Agency Council

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