In today’s digital commerce landscape, there are more customer touchpoints than ever before. Merchants need to take a deep dive into their funnels to understand the customer purchase journey and optimize conversions—but how can they prevent privacy controls from blocking valuable data collection through pixels and cookies?

Facebook’s server-side API for the web (also known as the server-side pixel) allows brands to share high-value customer events, including off-site conversions, straight from their server to Facebook’s. Working together with Facebook’s pixel, server-side API can help brands improve the performance and measurement of their ad campaigns across multiple channels for optimal conversion rates and better return on ad spend.

What is Facebook's server-side API for the web?

The server-side API for the web allows retailers to track online and in-store events such as phone calls, email sign-ups, and off-site purchases. The process captures key customer actions within Facebook Business Tools, such as Ads Manager and Events Manager. Increasing data resiliency through server-side API allows merchants to increase retargeting list sizes and lookalike audiences to track more conversion data and ultimately allow for greater reach for campaigns and better optimization.

How does server-side API for the web work?

Facebook’s server-side pixel operates similarly to the browser pixel, except rather than being run on the Java side of the user’s browser, the user’s actions are sent directly from the server side to Facebook’s servers.

Before server-side event API


With server-side events API

What actions can be tracked with server-side pixel?

There are a variety of actions that can be tracked through both the browser pixel and server-side pixel, including:

  • Phone calls
  • Purchases
  • Subscription Changes
  • Email subscriptions
  • Form submissions
  • Find locations
  • Affiliate payments
  • Leads

Benefits of Facebook's Server-Side Pixel

Server events operate like browser pixel events in the way they support and inform ad optimization, increase ad conversion rates, and improve return on ad spend.

However, Facebook’s server-side pixel delivers distinct benefits that the browser pixel cannot, including providing a more accurate view of the omnichannel customer journey by overcoming challenges causing event degradation from things like:

  • Poor network connectivity
  • Long page load times
  • Ad blockers

The greatest benefit to server-side pixel tracking is the ability to control what data is shared with Facebook to gain visibility into off-site transactions, such as phone calls or in-store purchases.

Server-side API is a direct channel for pixel events and honours consumer privacy choices

Without the server-side pixel, retailers are affected by limited retargeting audience sizes and miss deep funnel events outside the browser such as subscription management and lead scoring.

By implementing the server-side Facebook pixel, retailers can improve their return on ad spend by measuring the total value of their campaigns through improved visibility of customer actions and conversions. After implementing this tool, the user’s actions are sent directly from the server-side to Facebook’s servers, and the data can all be managed within Facebook Business Tools. Managing data through this centralized platform helps brands save time and reduce duplicated efforts tracking similar customer interactions in multiple places—creating greater efficiency in their marketing efforts.

Server-Side Facebook Pixel Case Study

To see the real-world effects of implementing the server-side Facebook pixel, let’s take a look at our client Royal Distributing, a retail leader in the Canadian power sports industry.

In 2019, Royal Distributing partnered with Northern Commerce to develop their digital ad strategy and new mobile-optimized Magento Commerce implementation. Northern Commerce leveraged the power of Facebook’s server-side pixel to maximize both measurement and optimization of the retailer’s pixel events, enabling Royal Distributing to track the ROI of their ad campaigns better than ever before.

Implementing Facebook’s server-side pixel allowed Royal Distributing to achieve:

  • 8.75% increase in purchase event tracking
  • 40% increase in revenue from new customer acquisition
  • 7.26x overall return on ad spend (ROAS)


How to Install Server-Side Facebook Pixel

Setting up the server-side API for web requires technical expertise and an advanced level of understanding of the Facebook pixel. As a Facebook Marketing Partner for Technical Services, Northern is one of only a few agencies in North America to have successfully implemented the Facebook Server-side API for Web. If you are interested in Northern’s custom server-side solution, fill out the form below to receive additional information.