Facebook has announced it is doing away with the Store Traffic objective and will pause all campaigns using that objective on April 1st. They'll remove reporting by May 1st. They have sprung this announcement on the industry (as you can see no one talking about it as of March 2nd) and this seems to be the rule, not the exception with Facebook over the past year. Facebook routinely pulls features out of their UI with little notice to advertisers.
How do they measure Store Visits today? All we know is:
it uses GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth data when specifically allowed by the user;
it also uses “satellite imagery and mapping data from 3rd parties which outlines your building location boundaries;
and “filtering out people who we think are employees or who appear to be on the move.”
Why the sudden change?
Deprecating store visit tracking is likely a response to iOS14 privacy updates. But users have given Facebook permission to track location so they can tag photos. And Foursquare found upwards of 90% acceptance of the new iOS ATT prompts for location based tracking apps. So it seems most users are ok with location being tracked as a trade off for what they get.
What to do about it?
- Use objectives like Conversions that often gave Store Visit tracking as well. Pull those benchmarks before April 30th, 2021.
- Pipe in a location measurement partner tracking. We are currently undergoing tests to see the 1:1 comparison of Facebook store visit tracking vs a location measurement partner to see how close they are in measurement and deduplication.
The abrupt removal of an important objective like Store Traffic will likely have ramifications for advertisers large and small with physical locations and force media planners everywhere to re-evaluate plans and allocations to Facebook.