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This Free Shopify App Helps Advertisers Overcome iOS 14 Changes

Josh Sturgeon
Last Updated August 24, 2021


If 2021 teaches us anything, it’s that change is inevitable. The ability of a marketer to adapt to these changes is what separates the good from the great.

But I’ve got some good news for you today that doesn’t involve having to change much about how you advertise on Facebook!

In 2020 my team and I started building products to help scale our clients’ stores to new levels. You could say that we wanted to “scratch our own itch”.

One of the products that emerged from our work is called SyncTap, which is currently live and available with a forever free plan in the Shopify app store.

Synctap ad app

The premise of SyncTap is really simple: it automates the work of creating custom audiences based on past customers by creating a direct link between a Shopify store and a Facebook ad account.

We found that our campaigns with the highest ROAS and ability to scale profitably almost always emerged from very specific customer segments.

For example, creating a lookalike audience based on all customers is helpful.


Creating a lookalike audience based on the customers who on average spent more than anyone else is even better. From Facebook’s point of view, you’re training them to find less price-sensitive shoppers. This means your average order value goes up, along with ROAS.

We have audiences like these ready to go, off the shelf, so with one click you can create that audience and start using it in your campaigns.

So how does SyncTap help protect you from iOS 14 changes?

By now I’m sure you’ve heard what’s going on with the battle between Apple and Facebook. If not, you can check out our complete rundown of the iOS 14 changes here.

Most of the coverage so far has focused on how these privacy initiatives will hurt reporting and conversion tracking.

But what many have overlooked is the potential impact on audience targeting, particularly with Lookalike audiences that are based on pixel events.

Think of it this way: let’s say your top Lookalike audience is based on the purchase event firing over the past 90 days. For example, over that time period, you have 10,000 purchase events that have fired and Facebook is using that event data to find similar customers in your target Lookalike audience.

When Facebook users start to opt-out of tracking, you’ll see those purchase events decrease. For the sake of simplicity, it could look like this:

Audience size based on 90 days of purchase events

January 1, 2021: 10,000

February 1, 2021: 8,000

Mach 1, 2021: 5,000

You get the idea. I’m not trying to make a prediction of what percentage of users will opt out of tracking. I just want to illustrate the point that relying on pixel events to feed your Lookalike audiences means that you’ll see erosion in the source audience over time, giving Facebook less data to optimize their targeting model.

In other words, the targeting will suck more.

The answer? Introduce ad sets with a list-based custom audience vs. a pixel-based one to compare performance over time.

With SyncTap, your audiences update in real-time

SyncTap not only makes it easy to create specific custom audiences based on customer segments, but it also updates them for you in near real-time.

Gone are the days where you have to:

  • Export customer CSVs from Shopify 
  • Wait up to 4 hours to receive them in your inbox
  • Build pivot tables and filters to create your customer segment
  • Upload the new CSV to Facebook as a custom audience

Five times daily, SyncTap will check for any new customers who meet the criteria of your audience and add (or remove) them from the audience in your Facebook ad account.

This means three things for your campaigns:

  1. You don’t have to worry about constantly downloading/uploading CSVs to keep your audiences updated
  2. You won’t see the same erosion in a source list as you will with pixel event-based audiences
  3. You can spend more time on creative or other things that will help grow the business (leave the busy work to a bot)

Grow your Shopify store with better retargeting. Unlock highly profitable audiences in just a few clicks for FREE. 

What about audience match rates?

Just because you add a customer to a custom audience doesn’t mean that Facebook will be able to find them on their platform as a user.

So if you upload 1,000 contacts to a custom audience, Facebook may only match 50% of them (or 500 total).

Another benefit of using SyncTap is that our match rate on those audiences is comparatively much higher. This is because we’re securely sending up to 15 different data points on every contact back to Facebook to make their job of matching easier. 

While sending over an email or phone number is usually the best way to match a user in a custom audience, Facebook can also leverage data points like city, state, zip code, etc. to increase match rate.

Start for free to cover your bases

We wanted to make SyncTap available for everyone regardless of budget, especially while everyone adjusts to these changes.

We’re still offering a “forever free” plan which allows you to build and sync up to three audiences with SyncTap. While more advanced marketers running stores with higher sales volume will benefit from introducing more than three audiences, this is a great starting point for anyone who wants some insurance for their audience targeting!

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T.J. Jones

CoFounder EmberTribe

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