At Opus Research’s Place Conference we discussed that online-to-offline conversion tracking will be a mandatory metric in a couple of years. Google, Facebook, Twitter and others, including xAd, Verve, JiWire, Millennial Media, PlaceIQ and Placed are all experimenting with or delivering data on store visits and offline conversions.
Google is using smartphone location to measure store visits. Placed uses an opt-in panel to do the same on behalf of its customers. Twitter works with Datalogix and now so does JiWire to match in-store transactions with mobile and online ad exposures.
Facebook recently announced (a more formal roll out of an existing program) that it would enable retailers to measure offline/in-store sales lift through its Custom Audiences program. Here’s how it works:
- Marketers upload hashed data, including emails, phone numbers and addresses, as well as encrypted transaction information
- Facebook matches the retailer’s hashed data to hashed data from our own databases
- We then provide a report that compares, on an aggregate basis, the purchase behavior of customers who saw an ad on Facebook with customers who did not
Internet-influenced in-store transactions are 10X larger than e-commerce. Most of the digital marketing world has totally ignored this phenomenon for the past decade because it was extremely difficult to track and measure. The advent of smartphones, offline location tracking (including indoor location) and other related methodologies (including transaction data) now make it possible to gain visibility on online-influenced offline conversions.
Again, these will be must-have metrics and will transform conversion tracking, as well as the way that we think about the value and pricing of digital advertising. For additional context and discussion, I’ve embedded the full video from the Place Conference session “Ad Tracking to the Point of Sale.”