When it comes to collecting data on customers, a lot has changed over the last few years. Rises in concern for data privacy have reshaped how businesses are able to track customer journeys through their online platforms. Data is one of the most powerful resources that a company can have and it can be a challenge to not only acquire data but also use it well. Conversion tracking is a method that companies have used to track important user data that is then fed to ad platforms.
This kind of data gives marketing and advertising teams the ability to utilize ad platforms to better reach potential and existing customers. However, conversion tracking has become increasingly hard to accomplish thanks to updates in security that have been sweeping major web browsers. When it comes to the best ways that a company can track a user’s journey across its website, there are two major options, Facebook Pixel and Conversion APIs.
While the Facebook pixel is quickly being outdated by new security features that block its tracking, conversion APIs are becoming the needed solution. If you have been wondering what the difference is between Facebook Pixel and Conversion APIs, here is everything you need to know.
What is the Facebook Pixel
Traditionally, tracking user journeys and information has happened in what is known as client-side tracking. This was and still is a method of tracking important information that can then be fed to ad platforms to better hone marketing and advertisement. One of the major deficits of this method of tracking is that it depends on the web browser that clients use.
With more and more browsers beefing up their security systems, tracking via pixels, or cookies is becoming something that is hard to accomplish. Most major web browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox offer blocking features that prohibit this kind of client-side tracking.
While a lot of security features limit something like Facebook Pixel, it is till one of the most popular and well-known client-side tracking tools. This method of tracking was proficient at collecting a large amount of data; the Facebook Pixel in general was responsible for collecting 17 key events and could be programmed to record custom events. Those events were things like Initiate Checkout, Donate, Add Payment info, Add to Wish List, and much more.
These events could give marketing teams powerful insight into a customer’s journey as well as power ad platforms to better target potential customers.
The underlying reason why web browsers offer blocks against this kind of tracking is that they have the ability to do so. Any information coming through that web browser could be seen as not belonging to the particular company or business that a client might be looking at. This is where Conversion APIs come into the picture to not only offer a more effective but compliant way of capturing valuable customer information.
What is a Conversion API?
A conversion API is an ultimate solution to the issues that companies have been facing when it comes to limitations with client-side tracking. While something like the Facebook Pixel could only track information based on a web browser, conversion APIs give the opportunity to track based on the server.
Conversion APIs allow for what is known as server-side tracking which can bring a lot of powerful benefits to the table. Not only can conversion APIs track everything that a pixel or a cookie could track, but they are also capable of going even further. Being able to use APIs to track server-side data allows for much more in-depth data collection of the customer journey. What’s more, is that this style of data collection is legally compliant. This allows for a much deeper level of tracking and data collection.
Can You Use Facebook Pixel and a Conversion API?
While the Facebook Pixel can be limited by browser restrictions, it is possible to use both the Facebook Pixel and Conversion APIs to track customer journeys. Both of these options together can capture valuable data with the Facebook Conversion API without confusion thanks to an auto deduping feature. This means that information that is captured through the Facebook Pixel and Facebook Conversion API won’t be duplicated. Instead, it will only capture unique data and delete any duplicate data that is captured.
The major downside to using a Conversion API as opposed to something like the Facebook Pixel is the adoption process. When it comes to installing a conversion API, it can take a lot of time and be a tedious process, as opposed to the ease of using the code for Facebook Pixel.
While there may be a bit of a learning curve with installing a conversion API, the greater depth of data capture, along with the fact that it is legally compliant makes it well worth the effort.
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