If you use Facebook Ads to try to increase foot traffic to your physical store locations, you’ll need to change your strategy. As of April 1, 2021, the ability to run ads with the Store Traffic advertising objective for Store Visits optimization is no more.
Before the change, optimizing ads for Store Visits delivered ads to users within a set distance of stores and calculated an estimated number of visits attributed to the ads. For example, if a user saw the ad and was later detected via GPS, WiFi, or Bluetooth signals to go into your store, Facebook would tick that up as a result.
Ads using the Store Traffic objective now only have the option to be optimized for Daily Unique Reach, which will only display the ad to a user up to once a day. Luckily, placements under the Store Traffic objective are limited to higher value platforms like Facebook and Instagram and exclude Audience Network and Messenger. This removes an issue where ads optimized for Daily Unique Reach would show up on Audience Network once to a user and then not get delivered to that user again that day.
Store Visits struggled as a metric, as it couldn’t consistently be detected accurately and was never widely released. One example of the limitations of the Store Visits optimization was the lack of preciseness from GPS. Location data was not accurate enough to detect visitors in dense areas and stores on busy streets or in shopping centers weren't able to use this measurement as well as suburban shops with large parking lots. Facebook couldn’t tell the difference between a visitor entering the advertised store or one nearby. In these instances, rather than report potentially inaccurate information, Facebook erred on not counting them.
You may be asking if the Store Traffic objective is valuable at all anymore. While the Store Visits optimization was nice to have, the real value in Store Traffic ads was in the ability to localize the content of the ads. For example, if a hat retailer with 10 locations ran a Store Traffic ad and a user was within the targeted radius of the store, the ad could appear as coming from the Page of the nearby store including carousel cards with the store’s address, phone number, or map. The ability to create these ads at scale is valuable and convenient.
Finally, while the option to measure Store Visits is already gone, the metric remains available in Ads Manager until May 1, 2021.
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