Market Trends

Drive-to-store: your advertising options across the major networks

Written by
17 May, 2019

Getting people into a shop, restaurant, dealership, or other place of business is a critical marketing objective for any business with physical locations, and online ads are a powerful tool to accomplish this. One study reported that 49% of in-store purchases today are influenced by digital interactions, over half of which take place on mobile.

holding smartphoneThe online and offline lives of today’s consumers are blended. Even if 90% of purchases still happen in-store, most consumers get inspired or pre-research their purchases online. Because consumers' online and offline experiences are seamless, your customers also expect a seamless, omni-channel shopping experience.

Combining online and offline activities is a must for today’s retailers, and there are more and more tools to help you do exactly that. Think of the smartphones that most of us carry around every day as a magnet that can draw customers into your store. Drive-to-store ad features let you do that, enabling you to drive traffic to physical locations, all while measuring the success of your online advertising.

Across networks, there are a number of advertising features to make this happen. Here are some of the most powerful options you can leverage to get customers to your place of business.

Facebook & Instagram

woman shopping-1Store traffic objective

As a first step in creating your Facebook ad campaign, you'll need to select an objective. With the store traffic objective, you can create dynamic local ads for multiple shop locations and drive store visits and in-store sales. The objective lets you target people within a set distance, with ads helping them navigate to or contact the location closest to them. The store traffic objective is available for single image, video or carousel ad formats.

Dynamic ads for retail

This beta ad format draws on images and details from your catalog to automatically retarget people with products they've already viewed on your website, or other related ones. You can also use the format to target a broad audience who might be interested in your products.


Local campaigns

These campaigns are designed  to use Google advertising to drive store visits and are available across Google properties including Google Search Network, Maps, YouTube, and the Google Display Network. You provide Google with store locations, campaign budget, and ad assets. Using these inputs, Google’s machine learning technology automatically optimizes bids, ad placements, and asset combinations.

Location extensions

By providing a list of the closest locations to a user at the time of search or inspiration, location extensions are the best way of letting customers know you’re close by and that you have what they’re looking for. Location extensions are leveraged when you run local search ads, which lead users to call or visit your locations.

Local inventory ads (LIA)

clothing storeLocal Inventory Ads let you “turn browsing into buying” by showing your products and providing users with information on your store when they search Google nearby. When someone clicks on your ad, they are redirected to a Google-hosted page for your store, called the local storefront, where they can see stock, store hours, directions, and more.



Geolocalization is at the core of Snapchat, with over 85% of users sharing their location on the network. This makes it relatively easy to reach the right people at the right time using Snapchat location targeting (in formats like Snap ads, Collection ads and Story ads). 

Through Radius Targeting, Snapchat lets you target as close as 100 meters from a given location. To drive traffic to your businesses, you can upload a list of stores and only target users in the vicinity. You can also opt to use Location Categories, which let you target people within a chosen radius of certain types of locations: beaches, music venues, bars, movie theaters, etc.


Twitter doesn’t have a dedicated drive-to-store ad format, but it doesn’t mean you can’t use the network to get customers into your store! You can target ads by country, region, city or zip code, which can be combined with device targeting. So by targeting mobile users in a specific zip code where your stores are located, you’ll have a good chance of reaching Twitter users while they’re out and about.

Screen Shot 2019-05-17 at 15.00.57Measuring success

You’ve invested in ads to get people into you store. How do you measure their impact? All of these networks have specific, sophisticated ways for you to measure the success of your drive-to-store ads.

Store Traffic

Available on Facebook, Google, and Snapchat (where it is still in beta), these networks estimate how many people have visited your business locations in real time.

Offline conversions

Offline conversions help you understand which offline events, such as in-store purchases, happened as a result of your online ads. This measurement is available on both Google and Facebook.

Learn more about cross-network ads for retail Download the ebook now

About Kat Peake Kat is the Content Marketing Manager here at MakeMeReach. She keeps her finger on the pulse to bring our readers the latest news about our platform's solutions and online ad tech.

All posts by Kat Peake