Brick-and-Mortar Stores a New Target for Facebook Ads?

Facebook is testing a new feature that would allow business advertisers to target customers by tracking who has visited their brick-and-mortar stores.

Currently, Facebook features have allowed stores to target people who visit and buy products from their online site. Facebook local awareness ads use mobile geofencing technology to optimize these local business promotions for people who search for products online according to their nearest store vicinity.

Custom Time Frames

The newest targeting options would allow physical shops to not only target their store visitors, but single out specific cohorts of customers. The targeting would be capable of narrowing ads down to potential customers who have visited their store in the past 30 days.

The update would also provide campaign targeting options for custom seasonal event audiences. For example, (as explained in a Marketing Land article) advertisers via Facebook would have the potential to target local-themed ads toward store visitors who are “parents with early school age children,” resulting in advertising specifically for back-to-school shopping.

Adverting campaigns using this feature could even get as specific as to target several alternate groups within the back-to-school campaign, such as an ad specifically geared toward parents with college students.

Boosting Competition

Facebook could also use this tool to help advertisers target not only their own store visitors, but those similar to theirs.For example, REI could use the brick-and-mortar location feature to market to people who have walked into one of their competitors, Dick’s Sporting Goods.

This new tool for advertisers resembles the current technologies like Steps Away, a program that syncs to shopping mall Wi-Fi networks and uses your sign-in to send advertisements for surrounding stores.

Is FB Tracking My Trip to Mickey D’s?

All Facebook apps for iOS and Android have built-in location tracking features which would potentially work to track your movements in-and-out of stores if the new Facebook feature is initiated.

While Facebook location features can be turned on and off in general settings, it will be interesting to see if Facebook decides to proceed with the location-tracking advertising feature synced so constantly to one’s every movement and potential purchase.

Stay tuned in the coming months for more updates to see when and if the new feature will come to fruition.

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