Snapchat buys Placed to prove location advertising leads to sales

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Snapchat’s parent company Snap has acquired location analytics firm Placed to show its advertisers how online advertising leads to offline store visits and purchases. US-based Placed specializes in tracking and measuring the locations of consumers through their phone’s GPS and turns that information into actionable insights for advertisers.

Attributing store sales to online ads is a particularly tricky task because people use multiple devices. They share screenshots of the ads/deals they like with their friends. And often, they don’t even buy a product immediately after seeing its ad online. But Placed has successfully managed to measure more than $500 million in media spend to store visits over the last one year.

As such, this acquisition seems like the perfect extension to Snapchat’s Snap to Store feature that debuted earlier this year. Snap to Store allows advertisers to see where Snapchat users go after seeing a sponsored location-based advertisement. So with Placed acquisition, Snap is obviously hoping to increase its advertising revenue by justifying to advertisers that ads placed on Snapchat actually lead to real sales.

Last year, Placed did a study of 2 million users for Snapchat which showed that real-world store visits were greatly impacted by the age, ethnicity, and income of a Snapchat user. The study revealed that by leveraging Sponsored Geofilters, the most popular stores among Snapchat users could enhance their brand experience from bricks to snaps.

Placed Founder and CEO David Shim said at the time: “Snapchat’s ability to drive offline actions will be one the key opportunities and revenue drivers in the coming years. Measurable ROI is what drove rapid adoption in paid search for Google, and app installs and audience targeting for Facebook.” And that’s exactly what drove Snap to buy Placed as well!