In-Store Visits and Offline Conversions: Facebook Connects Online and Point of Sale Data

by Andrew Krebs-Smith | January 17

If you’re a brick and mortar retailer, digital marketing has likely never seemed especially compelling for measurable customer acquisition and engagement. Well, hold onto your hats—Facebook has two tools in beta that solve this very pain point: in-store visits and offline conversions.

Imagine you are running a digital advertising campaign for a major retailer. You make the best budget decisions possible based on rigorous testing and data analysis. You know who clicks on your ads, when and why—which is all good, but it’s still not enough to create a clear picture of the return on your investment. These tools can change that. The first, In-Store Visits, enables you to measure who comes into your store after seeing an ad. The second, Offline Conversions, merges your customer data with your Facebook data to measure what those people buy after seeing an ad. Being able to correlate the data lets you see how much it costs to get a customer into your store and to buy a certain product. If you sell most of your products in a brick and mortar store, this is information you’ve never had before.

Brick and mortar shopping

In-Store Visits

We’ve posted about the benefits of advertising within a “walled garden” like Facebook before. In short, because users log-in to see content, Facebook can identify who sees what, when and on which device. Everyone else in the advertising world is also showing ads on multiple devices, but they can’t necessarily identify the person who owns those multiple devices. For example, I might see a Facebook display ad on my laptop, but when I go to into Championship Vinyl, the only way to track me is by my mobile phone. Because users are logged-in to Facebook on most of their devices and spend so much time on the platform, Facebook constantly knows who is using what device. If Facebook shows me an ad on my desktop, and I visit the store with my mobile, Facebook is able to tie the ad to my store visit.

Put simply, driving traffic to your brick and mortar store becomes effectively as trackable as driving traffic to your e-commerce site.

Offline Conversions

If I’m a major retailer, knowing that someone went into the store after seeing an ad is great, but it would be even better if I knew who actually bought something after seeing my ad. With Offline Conversions, retailers can upload customer information and connect specific purchases to who saw what ad. With that data, marketers can confidently report that their Facebook ads generated X return and have purchase records attached to a person’s name to prove it.

Any retailers with a brick and mortar presence should know about this capability, and find a partner who can help them benefit from it fully. If you’d like to know our thoughts on how your business might benefit from this or any of Facebook’s innovations, we’d be glad to talk. Get in touch with soon.

Andrew Krebs-Smith
About the author

Andrew Krebs-Smith

Andrew sings our praises to anyone that will listen. Before founding Social Fulcrum, he developed and managed social media strategy for accounts including Pfizer, Ocean City MD, The National Aquarium, and Strayer University. Andrew loves food, travel, music, exercise, and tea. Connect with Andrew on Twitter and LinkedIn.