The Rise of Conversion APIs

Conversion data is the lifeblood of the digital advertising ecosystem.

Conversion Data

Conversion data is the lifeblood of the digital advertising ecosystem. Facebook introduced their web pixel back in 2012 to capture website interactions or browser events (ex: product views, add-to-cart, check-out, etc.). In turn, conversion data not only powers ad reporting but is also the primary engine for follow-up marketing actions, including ML audience optimisation and dynamic ad targeting for potential customers.

At its core, conversion data is used to track conversions from ad platforms to optimise future ads, build custom audiences, and remarket to people who have already taken some kind of action on your website or app.

In the past, the primary way to share conversion data was through a Facebook Pixel (i.e. a web pixel), which leverages third-party cookies to share data back to Meta (Facebook) directly from browser Pixel events.

New landscape

However, in recent years, changes in consumer privacy laws (GDPR, CCPA), web browsers initiatives (ITP) , iOS and Android privacy frameworks (ATT)  and the rise of ad blockers have all dramatically limited the ability to collect conversion data and customer actions from web pixels.

In a recent article Meta formally acknowledged the extent of this problem, estimating that it underreports iOS web conversions by approximately 15%. Knowing this, Meta goes on to elaborate that all advertisers should turn to server-side tracking and utilize the Meta Conversion API (Facebook CAPI) to capture lost event data as a replacement to its tracking pixel.

Meta has been the loudest advocate about their Conversion API but nearly every other major advertising platform has been equally affected by privacy changes and most are introducing their own flavor of conversion APIs - Google Enhanced Conversions, Snapchat Conversions API, and TikTok Events.

These APIs give you a lot of upside in terms of improved match rate and faster website and applications due to fewer client side scripts.

Old Solution on a new problem

Often the task of implementing the overall conversion and measurement solutions falls on the web analyst or implementation specialist. Resulting in s