Facebook offering e-retailers sales tracking tool

SAN FRANCISCO, Fri Nov 16, 2012 – Facebook Inc. wants more credit for making online cash registers ring.

Facebook will begin rolling out on Friday a new tool which will allow online retailers to track purchases by members of the social network who have viewed their ads.

The tool is the latest of the new advertising features Facebook is offering to convince marketers that steering advertising dollars to the company will deliver a payoff.

Facebook, with roughly 1 billion users, has faced a tough reception on Wall Street amid concerns about its slowing revenue growth.

“Measuring ad effectiveness and outcomes is absolutely crucial to all types of businesses and marketers,” said David Baser, a product manager for Facebook’s ads business who said the “conversion measurement” tool has been a top customer request for a long time.

The sales information that advertisers receive is anonymous, said Baser. “You would see the number of people who bought shoes,” he said, using the example of an online shoe retailer. But marketers would not be able to get information that could identify the people, he added.