Facebook has announced new features that will help drive more business to brick & mortar store locations while accurately measuring a businesses Facebook mobile ad campaigns contribution in doing this. New Local Awareness Ads are designed for the small business with a single store all the way to enterprise corporations with thousands of locations.
This is the holy grail for convincing brick and mortar advertisers that Facebook is an effective platform to drive in-store business, assuming the data shows their advertising working. It could also be Facebook's achilles hill if advertisers discover that their ads aren't driving business.
The new features announced by Facebook today turn the giant social media site into a direct lead to conversion platform with the metrics informing businesses if they can capitalize on where 90% of retails purchases still happen... in physical stores.
Facebook is launching a native store locator that helps users find and get directions to the nearest store right within a Facebook ad. The ads will offer call-to-action such as "Get Directions" designed to help drive new business. Facebook notes that last year they launched a tool that now integrates with this new feature enabling businesses with many locations to create ads dynamically within one ad campaign.
Store locators on a business’s website can be frustrating for people on mobile, requiring several taps or typing a postal code into a small form. The new store locator removes that friction to help people on mobile find business locations quickly and easily.
The store locator shows a map of all the locations a business has nearby. People can click on the map in the ad to see information about nearby locations. Without leaving the ad or app, they can view the address, hours, phone number, website and estimated travel time for each store.
The store locator can be added to any local awareness ad and is available now to all advertisers.
Facebook Launches "Store Visits" Ad Reporting Metric
Along with the Local Awareness Ads Facebook is adding a new tracking metric called Store Visits to give businesses data on whether their ads designed to bring people into physical stores are working.
Advertisers can use store visits reporting to:
- See how many people come to your store after seeing a Facebook campaign
- Optimize ad creative, delivery and targeting based on store visits
- Analyze results across stores and regions to plan and optimize future campaigns
According to Facebook, store visits is an estimated metric based on information from people with location services enabled on their phone. The metric will be rolling out to advertisers globally over the coming months.
Offline Conversions API
Advertisers can connect their in-store and over the phone transactions to their Local Awareness Ads as well as other ad types via Facebook's new Offline Conversions API. The API lets businesses match their transactions within their point-of-sale cash registers to their ad reports on Facebook. Currently, point-of-sale tools businesses can connect their data to include IBM, Index, Invoca, Lightspeed, LiveRamp, Marketo and Square or with Facebook directly.
This data will allow advertisers to see the real-time effectiveness of their Facebook ads to see if they are driving business as projected, what the demographics of in-store purchasers are that come to their stores via a Facebook ad are and enable them to adjust and test their ads to make them more effective.