Marketing in the modern day can be tricky. Consumers are constantly bombarded with advertisements all day every day on their Facebook sidebar, Instagram newsfeed and soon will even be sandwiched between Snapchat stories. With so much noise in the social world, capturing a user’s attention is more difficult than ever.
Facebook advertisements are a powerful tool for promoting your business, targeting your niche and analyzing user behavior. Through marketing technology such as Facebook pixels, marketers are able to evaluate the effectiveness of a marketing campaign by tracking a user’s post-click actions on their website. However, there are many important questions Facebook pixels leave unanswered.
Pixels provide marketers with impressive insights and data about conversions and leads. This you probably already knew. What you can’t track through pixels are conversions or purchases that occur offline. But, what if you could evaluate your marketing efforts offline? What if you could gather information about how your online marketing campaigns are creating conversions in an actual, physical store? Well, now you can!
Facebook announced this week that it will be adding a new feature called Conversion Lift, a measuring tool that provides unprecedented insights into a consumer’s offline purchasing behavior. Conversion Lift will help marketers understand the impact of their Facebook advertising campaigns by allowing them to track the conversion rate for in-store purchases. Conversion Lift will let businesses gather consumer profiles, analyze demographics and gain a stronger understanding of their target audience.
Did all your marketing dreams just come true?
Think back to your customers’ last online shopping experience. They’re deep into their Facebook newsfeed when they come across an advertisement for your clothing store. The ad features a stylish cocktail dress, reminding her she needs a dress for a wedding next month. The ad offers a pretty sweet deal, so they click the promotion and start scanning through the website, adding a few dresses to the shopping cart that fit their taste. They proceed to click all the way to checkout window and then remember they have a meeting downtown, so they quickly exit the window and hurry out the door, leaving the cart behind.
Sound familiar? On average, about 75% of shopping carts are abandoned online because of factors such as unexpected costs, unsuitable shipping methods, prices, or simply because a customer wasn’t quite ready to purchase. While retargeting, either through email or display ads, may result in a conversion, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the conversion will happen online. Many times customers will decide against purchasing an item because they would rather try it on for size or observe it in person before they buy.
“This is one of the biggest partner challenges that exist in a digital and mobile world,” said Maz Sharafi, Facebook’s director of monetization product marketing. “Consumers are increasingly spending their time in mobile and online, but transactions are happening everywhere.”
That’s where Conversion Lift comes in. The updated tool (originally launched in January) will help businesses make better marketing decisions and will allow them to tap into shopping behavior that is a direct result of Facebook advertising. Through the update, Facebook will provide real-time analytics on the offline response to an ad, allowing them to understand what is working in a particular market or location. According to Facebook, this is based on information collected through a user’s smartphone.
While the feature won’t roll out for a few more months, early testers (such as M&S, Petco, Burger King UK, and Cadillac) have seen impressive results. According to AdWeek, French retailer E.Leclerc reached 1.5 million people within a small radius of their stores, with about 12 percent of clicks leading to visits within a week.
Through the metrics, marketers will help businesses tie the influence of their advertising to in-store visits and sales by comparing data from their store to Facebook’s reporting tools. This feature ultimately will allow marketers and businesses to spend advertising dollars with confidence and evaluate if Facebook ads are generating offline conversions. (which they do!).