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Facebook knows when you visit a store because of its ads

The social network wants retailers to know if their online ads create in-store sales.
Billy Steele
June 16, 2016
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Facebook's already offering retailers ways to convert ad views into sales online, but now it has a way to see if those views generate in-store traffic. To gauge how effective a retailer's ads are in getting folks to make a trip to a physical location, Facebook will track when users visit a shop after seeing its ad on the social network. The company says that the numbers are an estimate though, based on if the user has location service enabled on their mobile device. That feature is rolling out "over the coming months."

If you're worried about privacy, Facebook says all user data will be anonymous and it will only hand over the info that shows if ad buys did indeed turn into store visits. What's more, Facebook will also allow ad buyers to include store locators in the advertisement itself. This means that when you see an ad for a restaurant, for example, you can get directions, hours and more with a swipe rather than having to tap over to another page. It will be particularly useful for a business with multiple locations when you need to get the details for the one that's closest.

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