For e-commerce businesses, measuring the success of digital marketing comes easy thanks to a plethora of metrics that track online sales. When it comes to brick-and-mortar businesses, however, it’s not as simple.

How can a local grocery store, for example, count the number of in-person sales that came as a result of a Facebook ad? Traditionally, this grocery store would have trouble tracking this metric, but with the introduction of Facebook’s Store Visits objective (still in beta), they soon can.

How does it work? In short, Facebook tracks your location. By having location services enabled on your phone, Facebook can track your destination. If, after being served the ad online, they detect your presence near the physical store location, they send you a message through the Facebook app asking, “Are you at LOCAL GROCERY STORE?” With the help of your yes or no answer, they can better create the boundaries of any store location with higher accuracy and track in-store purchases.

Unfortunately, this foot-traffic measurement isn’t quite open to the public yet. But once it is, take note: there are a few different ways to ensure that a Store Visits test is successful.

The first is to set up an offline event for the in-store purchases. Similar to uploading a custom audience file, this requires that the client upload a list of offline purchases that contains customer contact info, the product they purchased, revenue, etc. Facebook then matches this information to the users who were served the ad to calculate any overlap.

The second way to measure success is to maximize reach as much as possible. Group together nearby store locations if necessary, set delivery to reach instead of clicks or conversions, and increase the radius of each location so that your audience size is increased.

The third stems from reach and is called the “penetration percentage.” By taking the total reach of a particular store location and dividing that by the total audience size, users can see how much of the audience your ad is reaching. The ideal penetration percentage is anything over 50%.

In a test with a client that is both an e-commerce and brick-and-mortar store, we calculated results through the penetration percentage. The table above represents a random sampling of 11 of the 71 store locations in the test. As you can see, the penetration percentage is well over 50% in all but one of these locations. We attribute this success to the grouping of multiple stores wherever possible and by increasing the radius for each location to 50 miles.

These three measures of success ensure that clients looking for in-store purchase capabilities have options while the Store Visits foot traffic measurement is still in beta. Good luck!

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Jenny Lee
Jenny joined 3Q Digital in June 2016 after graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in English Language & Literature. She is a fervent ally to all things dessert, postmodernist literature, social media, and college basketball.