Facebook gets deeper into brick-and-mortar advertising to take on Google


Yeah, but is it in stock?

Facebook is making yet another play for ad dollars from brick-and-mortar retailers.

The social network announced Tuesday that local businesses can now connect their Facebook ad campaigns to their in-store product inventory, a way to ensure they only advertise stuff that’s actually in stock. “Marketing out-of-stock products or inaccurate local prices can lead to a bad customer experience and wasted impressions,” Facebook explained in a blog post about the change.

That’s true! Facebook says its new ads won’t do that, instead showing users products that are both in stock, and at a location that’s nearby. The update is part of a broader strategy around attracting retail advertisers, and comes on the heels of an announcement in June where Facebook said marketers could start tracking whether or not their ads actually drive people inside their stores.

We’ve seen this move before — Google offers similar ads, and also measures in-store visits for its local advertisers. It’s clear that the two advertising juggernauts are making a play for brick-and-mortar ad dollars as more and more people use their mobile phones for all kinds of local searches and shopping.

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