...advertisers can now see how many people come into a store after seeing a Facebook ad...
Last year, Facebook began giving marketers more information about the people who were nearby their stores. Now, it's building on that, giving advertisers data about those who were served an ad and then travelled into a store, as well as adding features to its local ads designed to make store location easier for consumers. Facebook is also letting advertisers link transactions to ads with the help of companies like IBM.
Store Visits is a new metric in Facebook's Ads Reporting tool that 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. With the new metric, Facebook said advertisers can now 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 store visits metric will be rolling out to advertisers globally in the coming months, Facebook said.
The catch, though, is that advertisers may not be able to get a complete picture of everyone who went into their stores, because users have to opt in to location-tracking in Facebook's app in order for conversions to work.
"It's a seminal moment for Facebook because it's the first time we can close the loop for retailers," said Sam England, product manager at Facebook. "It's been difficult to measure and give advertisers the full picture, but now they can see in real time the number of store visits on a location by location basis. You can cut the data any way you see fit."
This move, said Yoram Wurmser, analyst at eMarketer, is a bit of a catch-up to Google for Facebook. It will make Facebook's local awareness tools more effective, "but it doesn't add something that other companies don't have," he said.
Facebook's new Offline Conversions API lets advertisers connect in-store transactions or transactions done over the phone to their ads. "The Offline Conversions API allows businesses to match transaction data from their customer database or point-of-sale system to Ads Reporting," Facebook said in a blog post, "helping them better understand the effectiveness of their ads in real-time." Advertisers will have the option to work with partners like IBM, LiveRamp, Marketo and Square, among others, or with Facebook directly.
The data on people is anonymized and aggregated, so marketers can't see the exact individuals who come into or near their stores, but advertisers can view real-time results as transactions occur in-store and over the phone and gain demographic insights about people who purchase products, such as gender, age group and so on, said Facebook.
Many companies, including Google and Facebook, have been trying to link ads online to offline conversions for a while, said Mr. Wurmser, analyst at eMarketer. Efforts include Google's launch of local inventory ads, while Facebook started a partnership with Datalogix (now part of Oracle), which it used to link its ads to offline purchases via loyalty cards and emails.
Mr. Wurmser said in an email that Google has generally had an advantage because "people who enter search queries for products are generally closer to the bottom of the funnel than those who see the more discovery-oriented or retargeting ads on Facebook." He added that Google has offered offline conversion tracking in its AdWords API for some time.
But, he said, "From what I've seen, this new Offline Conversion API brings Facebook up at least to what Google has been offering, but probably goes beyond it. By virtue of the behavioural and interest data it gets from its social networks (FB and Instagram), the additional insights about store traffic are likely beyond what Google can offer. So, I think it's going to be pretty attractive to retailers."
Article Link: adage.com
Author: Maureen Morrison
Published: June 14, 2016
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