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What is Server-Side Tracking? Everything You Need to Know

Adam
06 Jun 2024

Today, e-commerce businesses rely heavily on server-side tracking to understand consumer behavior and make data-driven decisions. Server-side tracking and tagging are essential for staying competitive on major advertising channels such as Google Ads and Meta Ads.

But why is serverside tracking so important now? The algorithms used by these platforms depend on receiving the best “signals,” which are generated by sending server-side events with first-party user key data. This process ensures the highest conversion API event match rate, leading to more effective ad targeting and better overall performance. Reaktion offers a plug and play solution for Shopify stores and agencies. Click here to create a free account today and get 10-day free trial now!

The best serverside tracking for Shopify

In this article, we will explore the basics of  server-side tracking for Shopify and tools that can play a huge role in getting the best results.

What Is Server-Side Tracking?

Server-side tracking is a method of storing and analysing the data of users’ interaction on a website through the server.

Unlike client-side tracking which capture’s data from a user’s browser, serverside tracking depends on the server to log user-centric information such as IP address, device identity,  “page views, clicks, and time spent on specific pages.

This information is gathered and stored purposefully to be analyzed and used by business/data analysts for website optimization, marketing efforts, and user experience personalization.

Today, serverside tracking is gaining traction as a method for collecting user interaction data, due to limitations in the accuracy of client-side tracking and the growing importance of adhering to data privacy regulations.

Since data is captured through the server, the restrictions on third-party cookies don’t exist for server-side tracking.

See ROAS / POAS / GROSS PROFITS of each of your brand, product, and product category with Server Side Tracking

Server Side Tracking For Ecommerce

With serverside tracking for e-commerce, the website’s own server, instead of the visitor’s browser, tracks user activity. 

This tracking happens continuously in the background as customers browse products, add items to their cart, and complete purchases.  

Unlike traditional tracking methods, serverside tracking does not require anything to download on the user’s device. 

The data analyst or shop owner will only need a server side tracking tool or solutions to select relevant information such as product ID, quantity added, and user ID for accuracy.

This server side tracking can seamlessly integrate with the data collected in your store and then sent to analytics for further analysis and insights into customer behavior and/or purchase patterns.

The power is in the details. With server-side tracking you can accurately understand customer journeys.

Best Server-Side Tracking Solutions for Shopify

Reaktion’s server-side tracking stands out as a premium solution in the Shopify server tracking ecosystem.

It offers a unique blend of features that are designed to improve the accuracy and depth of data collected. 

Compared to other market leaders, Reaktion boasts a quicker setup process, enhanced sales tracking capabilities, and comprehensive customer journey insights. 

The solution tracks significant more data points, including refunds and returns, which many competitors do not.

Competitive Comparison:

How Does Server Side Tracking Work For Shopify?

Shopify store owners leverage serverside tracking tools and services to increase sales.

The process starts from routing “events” to your Shopify server. 

This requires you to set up a Google Cloud account and connect it to a Google Tag Manager (GTM) server-side container.

With this set up, you can configure your server to send specific data/events to different analytics platforms, like Facebook Conversion API, for more comprehensive customer behavior insights.

Alternatively, you can integrate Shopify with a one-click serverside tracking tool like Reaktion, within 2-5 minutes.  You might not need a developer for this process compared to the latter.

Shopify Server-Side Events 

When a customer interacts with your store (adding items, making purchases), the data which are sent directly to your server are called events.

There are predefined events that most analytics platforms recognize and use for reporting on online store behavior. 

Shopify itself tracks some by default. But server-side tracking offers more control and accuracy 

Here are some common examples of events:

Google Ads Server-Side Tracking Data On Shopify

What happens when you run ads without tracking your conversion –accurately?

Ineffective campaigns and wasted spending are the most likely results.

To avoid this, Shopify shop owners integrate server-side Google Ads conversion tracking to their Shopify stores.

Google Ads conversion tracking lets you see how many website visitors who clicked your ads take specific actions, like making purchases or signing up for a discount offer. 

In other words, you can avoid wasting ad spend on products that don’t generate sales and invest more in successful ones.

With Reaktion, a one-click integration platform, you can  see the ROAS / POAS / GROSS PROFITS of your each brand, product, and product category you advertise on Google Shopping Ads or via catalog ads on Facebook Ads 

See ROAS / POAS / GROSS PROFITS of each of your brand, product, and product category with Server Side Tracking

How To Choose The Best Server Side Tracking Tool For Shopify

Selecting the ideal serverside tracking tool for your Shopify store should involve a classic cost-benefit analysis. This should lead to questions like:

Unique Features of Reaktion’s Server-Side Tracking

Reaktion’s server-side tracking solution for Shopify stands out with several unique features that significantly enhance ecommerce tracking capabilities:

Case Study: How Agencies are Using Our Server-Side Tracking for Ecommerce and Their Results

Stwentyfive

Stwentyfive, a leading digital marketing agency that scales fast-growing ecommerce brands internationally, has significantly benefited from Reaktion’s serverside tracking.

According to Michael Bengtson, Client Director & Partner, Reaktion’s solution has streamlined reporting processes, providing deeper and more actionable insights than tools like Datastudio.

The ability to track and analyze data down to the product and category level has made their collaborations much more data-driven, directly enhancing their marketing strategies and customer understanding.

Learn more about Stwentyfive and other brands

Server-Side Tracking for Shopify: Free Options Vs. Paid

While there are free serverside tracking options available for Shopify, they often come with limitations in data depth and functionality. Reaktion’s paid solution, however, offers:

Setting Up Reaktion Server-Side Tracking

Setting up Reaktion for your server-side tracking needs is literally plug and play because it takes 2-5 mins to integrate with:

Reaktion also identifies true CAC (not just cost per order), tracks customer journeys, and gives insight into attribution. It tracks 37% more sales than a pixel setup.

What Are The Benefits to Server-Side Tracking in Ecommerce?

Server-side tracking offers transformative benefits for ecommerce operations:

Conclusion

Server-side tracking represents a pivotal advancement for ecommerce businesses, especially those using Shopify.

This article explored the fundamentals of server side tracking, its advantages over client-side tracking, and the specific benefits it offers, such as improved data privacy, increased tracking accuracy, and enhanced stability.

For businesses seeking to optimize their ecommerce operations, Reaktion’s server-side tracking solution stands out. It offers easy integration, supports major advertising platforms, and ensures a higher degree of data accuracy and profitability analysis. If you’re looking to enhance your ecommerce tracking capabilities, consider adopting Reaktion for its robust features and user-friendly setup.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which marketing channels does Reaktion support for server-tracking?

Reaktion supports serverside tracking for Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and TikTok Ads. Integration with SnapChat Ads and Pinterest Ads is currently in development.

Is the setup process for Reaktion complex?

No, Reaktion offers a simple setup process that takes less than three minutes using one-click connectors. No coding skills are required, and support includes free onboarding and access to Slack support.

What uplift in conversion tracking can I expect with Reaktion?

With Reaktion’s server side tracking, you can expect an uplift in order tracking from 18% to 40%, depending on your current setup and the quality of your first-party user key data.

What effect can I expect from server-side tracking?

Serverside tracking can improve order tracking accuracy by up to 40%. It minimizes the impact of ad blockers and provides a true profit analysis of your marketing campaigns.

Does Reaktion include “Offline conversions”?

Yes, Reaktion automatically uploads offline conversions to the conversion APIs using first-party user key data, enhancing the accuracy and completeness of your tracking data.

Want to test Reaktion 100% free for 10 days?

Plug&Play advanced server-side tracking, realtime dashboards, CLV analytics, 1st party audience segments (CDP), custom reporting, attribution and customer journey. All your data in one single platform.

Connect your ecommerce store(s), marketing channels and set up serverside tracking in less than 10 minutes. The record is 4 mins and 34 secs for 3 Shopify stores and serverside tracking for Google Ads and Meta Ads.

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