Snap Advertisers Can Now See If Their Ads Increase Foot Traffic

Plus, research shows users are heavy shoppers

Snap to Store looks at how many people go to a store within a week of seeing one of Snap’s mobile ads. Source: Getty Images
Headshot of Lauren Johnson

As Snap looks to build out an advertising business to rival Facebook’s and Google’s, the app is launching a new location-based product that lets businesses see whether people go to stores after seeing advertisements.

The new ad product, Snap to Store, looks at the number of people who go to a store within one week of seeing one of Snap’s vertical-oriented mobile ads. Wendy’s, 7-Eleven and Paramount Pictures have tested the location-based ad. Wendy’s used sponsored geofilters to promote a jalapeño chicken sandwich and according to Snap, the ads resulted in more than 42,000 people visiting a restaurant within the seven-day period.

“Foot traffic into our restaurants is the best measurement of short-term sales success for any program—we want more ad tech like this,” said Brandon Rhoten, head of advertising, digital, social and media at Wendy’s, in a statement.

Buoyed by the success of its test programs, Snap is launching a dashboard advertisers can use to compare the whereabouts of people who see an ad against those who don’t. The dashboard also calculates incremental visitors and visitation as well as demographic information like age, gender and region.

Here’s a screenshot showing what the dashboard looks like:

Working with measurement player PlaceIQ, location data will also be used to create new interest categories brands buy Snapchat Discover and Our Stories ads against. Snap currently has 60 such categories, including music and sports, and plans to roll out new categories like department store shoppers this quarter.

In terms of privacy, Snap says it only uses location data when people open the app and aggregates data from at least 1,000 Snapchat users into categories like gyms or restaurants, not specific venues.

According to research commissioned by Greenberg Strategy, 80 percent of Snapchat users open the app at a restaurant, while 66 percent use it at shopping malls. Fifty percent of users open the app at the gym, and 49 percent use it at airports.

Snap also recently worked with Oracle and GfK to conduct consumer-packaged-goods research on its users. The CPG category has been a big focus for the company, which inked a deal with Oracle Data Cloud in January to let marketers use offline data like loyalty card programs in targeting mobile ads.

CPG brands that have bought into Snapchat include Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, L’Oréal and Kraft. In August, Gatorade created an ad that linked to a mini-video game in which users could play tennis against Serena Williams, resulting in a 14.5 percent swipe up rate. (The average user spent more than three minutes playing the game.) And Kraft’s sponsored lens that overlaid a macaroni-and-cheese graphic on photos lifted purchase intent by 13 percent, per Snap.

Oracle’s research found that Snapchatters spend 8 percent more at grocery stores than the national average. And Snapchat households spend 3 percent more on each shopping trip and shop 5 percent more often than the national average.

Separate research from GfK found that Snapchat users lean on product recommendations from their friends and family more than non-Snapchat users do when it comes to buying personal-care products, beauty products, pet care products and drinks. And they learn about CPG products from stories their friends post either talking about or showing products.

“Snapchat is a great place for CPG advertisers to reach a large audience when they’re having fun and sharing with friends and family,” said Billy Boulia, senior director at Hearts and Science. “It’s a group that’s proven to spend, and they use Snapchat to discuss and share what they’re buying to get real-time trusted feedback.”

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.