To answer that question, Facebook is rolling in several new services and ad units that it believes such businesses can’t do without.
For starters, new local awareness ads are designed to increase in-store foot traffic. The ads show shoppers stores that are nearest to them, and then delivers calls-to-action like “Get Directions.”
All within a single ad format, a new native store locator is designed to help consumers find and navigate to the nearest store location.
For Facebook, the new offerings build on those launched last year to help businesses with multiple locations create ads for every store within a single campaign.
The new changes could be a boon or businesses, because the store locators they feature on their Web sites are often inelegantly designed.
Of course, a business’s mobile ads should “drive people to their stores,” a Facebook spokeswoman said on Tuesday. But, they should also be able to “measure the amount of store visits and in-store sales following their Facebook mobile ad campaigns.”
As such, Facebook is also testing an Offline Conversions API, which should make it easier for businesses to match transaction data from their customer database -- or point-of-sale system -- to Ads Reporting.
At launch, technology partners include IBM, Index, Invoca, Lightspeed, LiveRamp, Marketo and Square.
Meanwhile, Facebook is also preparing the launch of “store visits” -- a new metric in Ads Reporting that should help business better understand their store traffic after running local awareness ads.
Among other insights, the new store visits metric will show businesses how many customers come to their store after seeing a Facebook campaign.
In testing, Petco, Burger King UK and Cadillac used store visits to better understand foot traffic to their locations after running local awareness ads.