Facebook (FB) recently teemed up with point-of-sale companies such as Square and Marketo. With them they have found the holy grail of advertising: they can now prove who bought what after seeing an ad on Facebook. Even if users leave the store empty handed, Facebook can now have the ability to track when you sit stores using GPS, beacons, WiFi, radio signals, and cell towers. They have basically found a way to stalk you online. This data ca help advertisers because it shows just how ad views lead to in-store purchases. 90 percent of sales happen in physical stores, not the online marketplace, however Facebook wants that to evolve into a more cohesive cycle.
Facebook does anonymize the data in order to protect the privacy of their users, however they don’t give users the option to opt-out. The only thing users can do is install an ad blocker or hide the ads on your feed, or turn off location services. This doesn’t stop the calculations, even though you cant see them. In the past, advertisers had to correlate sales increases with ad purchases. However this new conversions API allows Facebook to go directly into cash registers and commerce software in order to pull up real-time results about transactions, while also providing demographic insights for the companies to use in future campaigns.
But the new software benefits users as well. Facebook launched a new Store Locator ad unit.This shows business’ nearby locations and lets users get directions. Instead of using a third party website, users can view addresses, hours, phone numbers, website information and estimated travel time for each store without leaving the app. The location data is set to roll out over the next few months. The data will all be anonymized and aggregated for privacy of their users, so that advertisers can specifically tell that each user was the one that visited the store, just someone who clicked on their ad. Supposedly it is supposed to revolutionize the way companies advertise, as around 12% of clicks leads to a store visit within 7 days, according to E.Leclerc, a French retailer.
“At Fravega we were able to prove that for every dollar of eCommerce revenue we were generating from Facebook Ads, we were actually getting an additional $2.20 in our brick and mortar stores,” said Argentinean electronics retailer Fravega’s digital marketing manager Mariano Tordo. “With this new solution we were able to optimize our investment and increase spending with confidence.”