One of the biggest complaints brick and mortar stores had against Facebook ads is that it was difficult to track if Facebook advertising truly led to more in-store traffic and purchases. Facebook is now working on solving that problem by partnering with systems like Square and Marketo and GPS tracking and beacons to track who bought what and who visited the store after seeing ads on Facebook.
The goal is to help drive in store traffic and help brick and mortar stores see profit from digital campaigns, which has long been a struggle. If a user has enabled their location settings, Facebook will track “store visits” and be able to show how many people came to the business after seeing a Facebook campaign. A French retailer who was testing this feature reported that around 12% of clicks from their ads let to a visit to their store within 7 days. It should be noted that if any users did not want to use this feature, they can simply disable their location settings.
Advertisers can also now partner with businesses like IBM, Index, LiveRamp, Marketo, Lightspeed and Square or work directly with Facebook to get offline conversion data. They will be able to compare their internal transaction data from their sale systems or customer database with Facebook’s Ads Reporting tab to help them track their ad results.
Lastly, Facebook has added a “Store Locator” feature which was made for their mobile devices and is intended to minimize taps. The Store Locator will show a map of all the locations a business has nearby. Users will be able to see the address, hours, phone number, website and estimated travel time for each store without leaving the Facebook app. They can then click through the address to their phone’s mapping app to locate the store.
If they are accurate, these features could be a major asset to brick and mortar stores looking to incorporate digital ads into their marketing strategy. These ad features will begin rolling out to all advertisers in the coming months.