How does a tracking pixel work?
Tracking pixel is a piece of html code which will be provided by the company who wants to track the user’s behavior on a specified website. For example, if an E commerce website has an affiliate program and pays its affiliates basing on the sales they have generated in their site with their ads and their affiliate site. The E commerce website needs to have a functionality to assign the sales which were generated by its affiliates to them automatically. They need a way to correlate the sales, clicks generated by the affiliate sites. This can be accomplished by the use of tracking pixel.
The tracking pixel nothing but html code which needs to be placed in the order confirmation page which will be shown after a product purchase. The use of tracking pixel is not just passing the information whether a sale was happened or not. The main thing is, it will pass the cookie information of the user.
Pixel tracking code will contain an <img> html tag which you can get from your tracking software like CPV Lab or from your advertising network.
Here is the sample Facebook tracking pixel code
Now, whenever a user visits the order confirmation page, the browser will see an image and thereby it requests the image by sending the domain specific cookie id, amount of the purchased item or any other information about user to the server. This request is just like any other http request from the browser. Then the server responds to the browser requests and passes a transparent 1×1 image pixel (GIF) which will not visible to the user.
If you are running an E commerce business and one of your affiliate is running a Facebook ad campaign. Then, in order to track his sales, he will provide his pixel data to you, so that you can place it In the order confirmation page, Now, whenever a sale was happened, the browser sends the user data to the server and the server fires a pixel. This is how, affiliate sales are being tracked with the help of Pixel tracking.