How To Verify Conversion API Purchases from Server Side Container
This guide shows how to confirm your server side container is configured properly to send purchase conversions to your Facebook Conversion API account.
Please be sure you’ve completed the previous steps to configure your Conversion API settings in GTM and you’ve also connected a server side container to your Shopify store.
If you’re unsure about where to start then we recommend reading our overview on the Facebook Conversion API for Shopify. This provides details on your options.
Step 1: Verify Your Data Layer and Purchase Events Are Setup
In order to connect your Shopify store data to your server side container through a data layer you will need:
- An account with Elevar
- A data layer implemented on your Shopify store that sends data to your server side container
If you have an Elevar account then the process is automated for you with onboarding.
Otherwise if you are configuring this yourself then be sure you have configured Google Tag Manager tags to send data to your server side container.
Step 2: Import Container & Put Server Side Container Into Preview Mode
First you’ll need to import our pre-built container that contains:
- Facebook conversion API variables
- Facebook purchase tag connected to conversion API
- Trigger and variables that match event data sent from Shopify to a server side container (*assumes you’re on an Elevar paid plan)
Then inside your server side container go to admin > import container > merge container (don’t overwrite!)
Once this is done then put your server side container into preview mode.
This will open a new tab in your browser.
Step 3: Verify Server Event Activity in FB Business Manager
Head over to Facebook Business Manager and go to your test event screen.
Copy this test ID and head back to your server side container > variables > test event code variable.
Ensure this variable matches what Facebook provides in your event screen.
If it doesn’t match then update the variable inside of your SS container.
Then click Preview again to refresh the container.
Do not publish the container – just leave it in preview mode.
Step 4: Send Test Purchase & Verify in GTM Preview Mode
Now you’re ready to test.
Head back to your Shopify store and complete a purchase.
Then go to your Preview Mode > Request Tab to look for a Facebook Conversion API event that has been claimed:
Do you see it?
You’ll see an outgoing (request sent to Facebook) and incoming (request sent to your server side container).
The outgoing request should either be:
- 200 response code: FB accepted it
- 400 response code: there was an error
If it contains an error then scroll down to see the reason code:
In this example it states the timestamp on the order is older than 7 days which Facebook does not allow.
Facebook Conversion API will accept events up to 7 days old.
Here’s another example of an incorrect FB token:
Step 6: Verify Server Event Activity in FB Business Manager
Now go to your Facebook Business Manager > Events Manager > Test Events (Tab) > Server (Tab).
Do you see a new test purchase event inside of Facebook like this:
If so – success!
If you don’t then go back through the steps of:
- Ensuring that your test event code in FB is updated in your FB Test Event Code variable in your SS container.
- Review the preview mode responses for your FB Purchase tag – does it say successful?
Step 7: Review Requirements to Send Pixel & Server Events
It’s important that you understand how Facebook handles pixel and server events.
Remember – they want you to send both.
If you do send both then you need to do a few things:
- The Pixel needs to have an eventId parameter that is the same event_id parameter sent with your server side event. So for example if you wanted to use the Shopify <> FB pixel in parallel with a GTM server side conversion then it won’t work because you can’t control the eventId on the Shopify Facebook pixel. We have the event_id set to the order name in the server side FB conversion tag. Learn more about deduplication here.
- Facebook requires a few specific parameters (like event_id and event_time) in addition to hashed user parameters which you can learn more about here. So when you want to add other conversion events to the conversion API you’ll need to ensure the parameters match up as Facebook expects.
If you are already sending FB pixel hits via GTM web container then the addition of Conversion API vis GTM server side container is an easier transition.
Next Steps for FB Conversion API
- Decide what integration is right for you. Do you want to use the native Shopify integration for sending purchase events via server side container? Learn more about your options here.
- Decide what events you want to send via server side container besides purchases.
- Talk with your FB account manager to see what they recommend for your account.
Do you want this Conversion API implemented on your store?