What You Need to Know about Facebook’s New Store Visits Metric

Facebook recently launched a new Store Visits metric so you can track how many people see your Facebook ad and then come into your store. Theoretically, this new Store Visits metric should help you better understand the impact of your Facebook ads, but there are some caveats.

According to Facebook,

While people use mobile in 45% of all shopping journeys1, the majority of sales still happen in brick-and-mortar businesses. In fact, more than 90% of retail sales take place in-store (eMarketer 2015 US Data).

Facebook’s Store Visits metric compares a customer’s cell phone location to your store’s location. If they match, the social network knows that the customer who saw the ad stopped by your store.

Local businesses can benefit from the new feature because potential customers don’t really have to alter how they use Facebook. People who use the Facebook app on their cell phone will see an ad from your business. Facebook tracks those views and when that person then visits your store, Facebook uses the GPS of the person’s cell phone to identify that they just visited … even without a check-in!

Here’s how you can unleash the potential of this new Store Visits metric:

  1. Go to Facebook.
  2. You’ll need to use the Power Editor for Facebook ads. If you’re not familiar with Power Editor, here are some quick instructions.
  3. Click “Create Campaign”, name the campaign, and set the Campaign type to Local Awareness. If you would like to know whether your ads lead to customers visiting your stores in different places, you can use the “Multiple Locations” checkbox.
  4. Create a new Ad Set.
  5. Create a new Ad.
  6. Click Create.

Before you start your campaign, please be sure you have adjusted:

  1. The bidding amount and schedule on the campaign level to your desired ad spend.
  2. The ad targeting options to reach your target demographic.
  3. The call-to-action on the ad itself to “Get Directions” and pick the appropriate page.

When you’re done, review your ad settings and launch the campaign.

A couple quick notes. First, Facebook is slowly rolling out this metric over the next few months, so if you don’t see it right away, don’t worry … you’ll see it soon.

Also, it’s important to note that Store Visits is an estimated metric. If a customer does not let Facebook know their location, then the Store Visits metric cannot capture their visit. Facebook tries to compensate for this as best it can, but be aware that it is just an estimate.

Be sure to let us know what you think about this new Store Visits metric in the comments section below.

Eric Shanfelt
Eric is the Founder and CEO of Local Marketing Institute. He has 25 years of experience in digital marketing and has been the Chief Digital Officer for several B2B and consumer media companies. Eric has a passion for local businesses and focuses on practical digital strategies to help them attract more customers, build customer loyalty, and grow their business.