We all know that Facebook dominates as the largest on-line social network and now they are looking to dominate a new space, retail. It makes sense. Why not leverage the place that commands so much of your time and focus into a place where you can easily shop? And to make it even more convenient, shop locally. Facebook recently announced a host of new features aimed at allowing retailers to connect customer behavior on Facebook to purchases in brick and mortar stores. This solution will help retailers shed light on a much sought after but difficult to measure conversion metric.
Even though e-commerce continues to grow rapidly each year, a whopping 90% of purchases are still occurring in the physical store. As many as 80% of these in-store purchase start online. Today’s consumers are using both online and offline assets to decided how, when, and where to shop. Even young consumers place great value on the physical store during their shopping journey. To better address these potential customers, many retailers are looking to deploy tools that effortlessly blend the digital and physical worlds, transforming on-line clicks into in-store purchases.
While Facebook has yet to release specific details on exactly how they will attribute in-store sales to advertisements that customers have viewed, we do know that they will connect data about viewing habits, GPS location, as well as point of sale data from Square and Marketo in order to generate these metrics. As a result, the announcement of these new features has created significant buzz in the retail world.
A feature from The Industry London about the Facebook announcement also highlighted the technology our company, Radius8, has developed to connect online and offline behavior. “Other technology providers are also searching for ways to convert online browsers into offline shoppers. In the US, Guess is working with start-up Radius8, a cloud-based platform that enables Guess to see what local browsers are searching online and offer those products in their nearest store. They can also serve up local promotions specific to those products.” The Industry’s editor-in-chief Lauretta Roberts, points out that both Facebook and Radius8 solutions come at a time where the retail world is changing. There is increasing focus on technologies that can produce measurable methods of connecting online to offline behavior that present an unmatched opportunity for retailers. She goes on to say, “The ability to convert online browsers into in-store shoppers and serve up a product offer that is specific to local tastes is something of a retailer’s holy grail and when it happens (which it will), it could be thing that makes retail stores more relevant and more exciting to the younger generation of customer who increasingly shops online.”
At Radius8 we look forward to seeing what the future holds for Facebook’s new advertising functionality as we continue to help retailers leverage their existing digital assets to intelligently connect their online browsers with locally curated merchandise. We’re excited to be part of this next evolution in retail!
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Originally published at www.linkedin.com