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A Complete Guide to Implementing Server-Side Tracking on Your Shopify Store

Tired of missing out on valuable customer insights? Server-side tracking on Shopify is your secret weapon. It unlocks richer data, boosts accuracy, and fuels smarter decisions for your online store. Let’s dive into the essentials and guide you through setting it up, step-by-step. Get ready to transform your website into a customer behavior treasure trove!

Key Takeaways

  • Server-side tracking offers deeper insights into customer behavior on Shopify.
  • Implementing server-side tracking improves data accuracy for e-commerce analytics.
  • Choosing the right server-side tracking tool is essential for effective implementation on Shopify.
  • Custom events can be leveraged to track specific actions and behaviors on the server side.
  • Analyzing server-side tracking data provides valuable business insights for optimizing e-commerce performance.

Understanding Shopify Server-Side Tracking

What is Shopify Server-Side Tracking?

Server-side tracking with Shopify is an alternative approach to the standard (client-side) tracking method typically used for analytics and marketing tools. Instead of sending data directly from the user’s browser, server-side tracking routes it through your Shopify server first before forwarding it to the intended destination (e.g., Facebook Conversion API, Google Analytics).

What is server-side tracking?

Server-side tracking is a method of collecting user interactions directly from the server, rather than relying on the client’s browser. This approach offers a more reliable and secure way to gather data, as it is less susceptible to issues like ad blockers or browser restrictions. Server-side tracking captures a wide range of data points, including page views, transactions, and user behavior.

  • Client-side tracking: Data is collected from the user’s browser.
  • Server-side tracking: Data is collected from the server.

Why use server-side tracking on Shopify

In the ever-evolving world of e-commerce, understanding your customers is more crucial than ever. Traditional, client-side tracking methods using cookies are becoming increasingly unreliable due to privacy concerns, browser restrictions, and ad blockers. This is where server-side tracking swoops in as a game-changer for Shopify stores.

But why exactly should you consider using server-side tracking on your Shopify store? Let’s delve into the key benefits:

1. Enhanced Data Accuracy and Completeness:

  • Say goodbye to data gaps: Server-side tracking bypasses browser limitations and ad blockers, capturing valuable data that might otherwise be missed. This translates to a more complete picture of your customers’ journey, from product browsing to checkout.

2. Improved Attribution and Conversion Tracking:

  • No more lost conversions: Server-side tracking ensures accurate attribution of sales and other conversions, even if a customer doesn’t complete the entire purchase journey in one session. This empowers you to make data-driven decisions about your marketing campaigns and optimize them for maximum ROI.

3. Increased Data Control and Security:

  • Privacy first: Server-side tracking allows you to collect and store customer data securely on your own server, giving you greater control over its usage and compliance with privacy regulations.

4. Faster Page Loading Times:

  • Happy customers, happy business: Server-side tracking minimizes the need for heavy tracking scripts in the browser, leading to faster page loading times and a smoother user experience for your customers.

5. Future-Proofing Your Data Collection:

  • Stay ahead of the curve: With the increasing focus on user privacy and cookie deprecation, server-side tracking offers a sustainable and future-proof solution for collecting valuable customer data on your Shopify store.

Setting Up Server-Side Tracking on Shopify

Step 1: Using Stape Server GTMP app for Shopify

Simplify your server-side tagging experience with the Stape Server GTM app! Our app simplifies the setup of your server Google Tag Manager (sGTM) and ensures smooth data delivery, regardless of your chosen hosting provider.

Now, click on Apps -> search for the Stape server GTM and click on it.

Step 2: Add GTM container ID and script to each and every page

Supercharge your tracking with just a tick! By enabling the “Insert GTM snippet” checkbox and entering your website’s Google Tag Manager ID, the Stape app seamlessly injects a web GTM script into every page. This empowers you with the benefits of server-side tagging without manual code edits.

Step 3: Add custom domain

Setting a custom domain for your tagging server is important for longer-lasting cookies. By default, server GTM uses a domain like “google-analytics.com” for tracking, which sets third-party cookies. These cookies have a short lifespan of just 7 days in browsers with Intelligent Tracking Prevention like Safari and Firefox. However, a custom domain allows you to set first-party cookies, which can last up to 2 years! This significantly improves your tracking capabilities and data collection. Enabling this feature is simple: just check the box and add your desired custom domain. Don’t miss out on this valuable benefit for your website’s tracking and analytics!

Step 4: Add e-commerce events and user data to the data layer events

By navigating to the Data Layer section enable the checkbox of both ecommerce DataLayer events and user data events.
Ecommerce events includes:

  • View Item
  • Add To Cart
  • Begin Checkout
  • Add Payment Info
  • Purchase
  • Product Detail View and Clicks

Step 5: Send webhook to the server GTM container

The webhook is used to send the Purchase event to your server Google Tag Manager container. To enable the webhooks, paste your server URL and path so, webhook will send the events which you want to send.

Conclusion

In conclusion, implementing server-side tracking on your Shopify store is a crucial step in optimizing your e-commerce business. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can ensure accurate tracking of customer behavior, improve data privacy compliance, and enhance the overall performance of your store. Take the necessary steps to implement server-side tracking and unlock the full potential of your Shopify store.