Market Trends

Online to offline: How to track the impact of Facebook ads on real life conversions

Written by
9 Nov, 2017


With the e-commerce industry flourishing it comes as a shock that 90% of retail sales are still taking place in storesInterestingly enough, the use of mobile devices has actually contributed to this high rate of in-store purchases.

According to a recent Euclid report, Smartphone usage is increasingly prevalent in the in-store experience. 50% of consumers aged 18-34 would compare the best deals and products with their smartphones while shopping in-store on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. In order to help marketers better understand the impact that their social ads have on real world outcomes (e.g store visits, offline conversions), Facebook has developed some powerful solutions.


Track store sales that come from Facebook advert campaigns

Advertisers now have a way to connect the transactions that take place in store or over the phone to their adverts. The offline conversions API allows businesses to match transaction data from their customer database or point-of-sale system to ad reporting, helping them better understand the the effectiveness of their ads.

It’s also an insightful way to gain demographic insights about the people who purchase which can then be used to improve follow up ad targeting campaigns.

Marketers can now optimise their campaigns not only based on clicks or views but also on in-store purchases thanks to the data collected from consumers who reach the end of their conversion funnels.

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In order to better explain this let’s pretend you’re a brand running your “Store A” in Paris and your “Store B” in London. In Paris your ads have a CTR of 2,5% while in London they’re just 1,9%.

When you integrate your offline conversions, you realise that your conversion rate in Paris is only 0,04% while it’s 0,08% in London. You should therefore invest more on your London audience! This significant insight would not exist without analysing the whole conversion funnel.

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How to connect offline data with Facebook?

You can upload your manual data spreadsheets quickly or connect directly to the Facebook Offline Conversions API. To upload your data, you will need to include your Event Name, Event Time, Value, Currency, Order ID, and Item Number. Your data file should also include as much information about your customers as possible so your offline event data can be matched to Facebook users. 

Here you’ll find guidelines and examples for formatting data about your customers and events. The two most important tips are:

  • Always include the country code at the beginning of your customer's phone number, even if all your data is from the same country.
  • Always include your customers' countries in their own column in your file, even if all of your data is from the same country. As MakeMeReach operates on a global scale, this simple step helps us match as many people as possible from your customer list.

Some Point of Sales or Loyalty systems are already connected to the Facebook API and could help you reconcile the data. Let’s take Square for example:

Every time a customer makes a purchase on a site their email address is tied to, the reconciliation is easy. Using only the email address, Facebook can track whether or not this purchaser saw an ad before.

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Reach Customers Who Have Purchased Offline or previously visited your Store

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 16.48.42This September Facebook released an exciting new feature that enables advertisers to build custom audiences from their offline conversion event sets made up of people who previously purchased offline and of people who visited your store. This new type of segmentation of audiences enables businesses to dynamically re-engage shoppers based on their interactions through offline channels such as stores or call centres.

For example, a real estate company can automatically show an ad with their latest house listings to people who have called to schedule an open house tour in the last 30 days.Businesses can also create lookalike audiences to find potential shoppers that share characteristics with the best customers that visited their stores. 

These innovations are momentous for businesses suffering from a “black hole” in their tracking due to transactions (lead generation, sales, etc.) not occurring on web pages Facebook can track. Thanks to this brand new feature businesses are getting to know their customers even better and answering their needs more suitably.

See how MakeMeReach's advanced tracking tools can help you to maximise your ad views.

Want to know how you can maximise your ad views? Discover MakeMeReach

About Mélissa Sanchot Our Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mélissa, is constantly thinking outside of the box. Coordinating the Sales, Marketing and Client Services teams at MakeMeReach is no mean feat, but with a mind bursting with innovative ideas, we’re always excited to hear her next cutting edge blogpost.

All posts by Mélissa Sanchot