Facebook tracks in-store visits to link online and offline habits

16/06/2016

Facebook is giving advertisers data to track how many people visited a store after seeing a campaign on the social network.

The new ‘Store Visits’ metric aims to help retailers better understand their foot traffic after running local awareness ads, which are targeted toward people within a certain distance of a store set by the advertiser.

Using the new metric, advertisers will be able to see how many people come into a store after seeing a Facebook ad; optimise the ads' creative, delivery and targeting based on store visits; and analyse results across stores and regions.

The new tool builds on Facebook’s ability to let merchants target ads for nearby consumers and anonymous users as close as 150 feet away.

However, users will have to opt in to location-tracking in Facebook's app in order for conversions to work.

The store visits metric will be rolling out to advertisers globally in the coming months, Facebook said.

View a demo below:

"One of the trends on our minds is that people are spending more time on mobile than any channel," said Maz Sharafi, director-monetization product marketing at Facebook. "But purchase behavior is different," he added, with 90% of retails sales still happening store in-store. "With the mobile shift, this is a fundamental challenge that marketers have, in not only how to drive people to a store but how to measure real business results. That's what we're interested in solving."

‘Store visit’ metric based on info collected from people who have location services enabled on their smartphone (Google launched similar tracker in 2014)

One case study from earlier trials from E.Leclerc helped the French retailer reach 1.5 million people within 10 kilometers of its stores, with about 12 percent of clicks leading to visits within a week.

Meanwhile, an Offline-Conversions API will let stores match transactions from customer database or point of sale (POS) system.

Read more about Facebok's offline tracking plans here

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