Meta CAPI for Shopify Stores: Why and How to Implement This Game-Changer

What Meta CAPI is, what it does, how to set it up, and how to improve conversion tracking.

Meta CAPI for Shopify Stores: Why and How to Implement This Game-Changer

Kayle Larkin

Head of Marketing

Meta – formerly known as Facebook – introduced The Conversions API (CAPI) in 2021. This API is being recommended for use by Facebook and marketing agencies due to the decreasing reliability of traditional browser tracking.

There are notable conversion discrepancies of 10-20% between Shopify orders and Facebook purchases. This is attributed to factors such as Safari’s seven-day cookie expiration, limitations on conversion events imposed by iOS14 and iOS17, and the increasing prevalence of ad blockers.

Shopify stores that advertise on Facebook have experienced significant benefits from implementing Meta CAPI for conversion tracking. In this article, you will learn:

What Is Meta CAPI?

Meta CAPI is an abbreviation for The Conversions API by Meta, which allows eCommerce companies and advertisers to share conversion event data directly from their servers with Meta Ads Manager.

It allows you to transmit first-party conversion data from your website platform, mobile app, or CRM to Meta for enhanced visibility into your marketing data.

Previously, eCommerce companies had to rely on the Meta Pixel or Facebook Pixel to track conversions originating from their Facebook ads.

Whereas Meta CAPI transmits data to Meta Ads Manager via your server, the Meta Pixel works by sharing third-party data from your website to Meta through a browser. Learn more about the differences between Meta CAPI and the Meta Pixel.

What Does Meta CAPI Do?

Meta CAPI (Conversions API) directly connects your marketing data, such as website and app events, to Meta to enhance ad measurement, personalization, and optimization.

For example, you own a Shopify business and run ads on Facebook to promote your product offering.

You took the necessary steps to set up the Meta CAPI for tracking purposes.

When a customer clicks one of your ads on Facebook and goes to your Shopify website, the website browser sends conversion event data to your server.

Conversion events can include:

  • Viewing a product detail page
  • Adding an item to the cart
  • Initiating checkout
  • Completing a purchase

Your server then sends the first-party data to the Meta CAPI which transmits the data to Meta Ads Manager, giving you visibility into your website’s conversion data.

How to Set up CAPI on Shopify

There are three primary ways to set up Meta CAPI on Shopify: Zapier, Native Shopify Integration, and Server-side Integration.

Below is a brief outline of the steps to follow. For an in-depth guide follow this link to Meta’s documentation or schedule a call to discuss letting the experts handle it for you.

1. Zapier

Zapier has a Facebook Conversions connection for Shopify stores. The relevant triggers available are primarily:

  • New order
  • New customer

This is a quick and simple integration but lacks the ability to track conversions across your entire store (like add to carts, etc) or deduplicate with your pixel. Bottom line: Zapier is not a viable option.

2. Native Shopify Integration

The native Shopify integration will likely be the best and fastest way to implement Meta CAPI for basic Shopify stores.

It offers a simple one-click step with three options to choose from in Facebook pixel settings: standard, enhanced, and maximum.

The maximum option includes the conversion API for all sitewide events like pageview, product view, add to cart, initiate checkout, and purchases.

Since this is changing frequently, we are keeping this list of potential gotchas:

  • Product ID management is not supported.
  • Subscription events are not supported.
  • Third-party checkouts like ReCharge are not supported. You’ll need Facebook CAPI through Elevar on your ReCharge checkout.
  • Privacy management: It’s not clear how this works with consent management. For example, if a user opts-out of tracking on your site, the native integration appears to still send data to Facebook.
  • It does not reset cookie expiration periods set in Safari.

To learn about the under-performance of the native Shopify + Facebook CAPI Integration, check out this episode of The Conversion Tracking Playbook.

3. Server-side integration

Shopify merchants that require more control over how their Facebook integration is set up will need to use server-side tracking.

eCommerce companies are seeing  substantial improvements in the quality of their core metrics by switching to the Elevar Meta CAPI integration.

Compare for yourself to see why the Elevar Meta CAPI integration can provide more robust data for your conversion events.

a table with text comparing shopify native capi integration with Elevar server side capi integration
Custom image by Elevar

Questions about Meta CAPI for Shopify?

Take the guesswork out of your Meta CAPI set up and get it done for you by expert analysts.

Learn how the Elevar Meta CAPI integration can help you solve your eCommerce business’s conversion tracking challenges and improve your Facebook ad performance by 20% or more.

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