Today, the social media giant is introducing new ad products that encourage visits to physical stores and that help its advertisers measure the impact of their Facebook ads on customers’ shopping behaviors.
It’s starting with local awareness ads, which show Facebook users the stores nearest to them. To those, it’s adding the option to add store locators, which show a map of a business’ nearby locations. Within the ad, a user can see the address, hours, phone number, web site and travel time.
According to data from February, Facebook found that people use mobile in 45 percent of all shopping journeys. That’s compared to the 90 percent or more of retail journeys that happen in bricks-and-mortar, according to eMarketer. The store locator option becomes available today to all advertisers, and can be added to any local awareness ads.
In turn, Facebook is also adding a new metric to its Ads Reporting called store visits, which will show the number of people who visited a store’s physical location after seeing a local awareness ad. These metrics will be estimated according to information from people who have enabled location services on their phone, and will be available in future months.
Finally, Facebook is introducing an “offline conversion API” that will allow businesses to match transaction data to Ads Reporting. The API works with those including IBM, Invoca, Marketo and Square to see factors like demographic insights on those who make a purchase; this was designed to help advertisers optimize future ad campaigns.
The push toward connecting the dots between mobile browsing and physical purchasing has been on the minds of many in Silicon Valley. Google estimates that one-third of mobile searches are related to location and that location-related mobile searches are growing 50 percent faster than mobile searches.
Just last week, Google said that it would be bringing ads to its Google Maps, which will highlight businesses near a user’s physical location. These ads also allow the advertiser to add details like special offers and product inventory. Google’s Local Inventory Ads show if a product is nearby when a shopper searchers for it on Google, and earlier this month, Google made it possible for local inventory advertisers to have those items searchable on Google.com.
In April, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg shared that 82 percent of the company’s advertising revenue came from mobile ads and that her initiatives included focusing on the mobile experience and making ads more relevant and effective.