NEW YORK: Digital ads can drive a 12% incremental lift in store traffic according to Foursquare, the local search and discovery app.

The figure emerged from trials of a new product – Attribution Powered by Foursquare – launched yesterday, TechCrunch reported.

This utilises the location-sharing feature of the app, with 1.3m users volunteering to share this at all times in order for Foursquare to track store visits following exposure to an advertiser's campaign.

"If you are an 18-to-34-year-old male in Madison, Wisconsin, and you see an ad, we are going to find another person on our panel who is an 18-to 34-year-old male in Madison, Wisconsin, and make sure they don't see an ad," explained Peter Krasniqi, vice president of global sales strategy and operations at Foursquare.

"Then we measure the visit rate on both groups, and we will be able to show the incremental lift on that ad."

For one unnamed retailer, publishing app Flipboard reported that digital ads had driven a 12% incremental lift in visits to store locations within a week.

"Measurement needs to evolve as mobile evolves," said Steven Rosenblatt, Foursquare president.

"We get a lot of information from consumers in aggregate and in an anonymous way that helps really understand so many different things about the world," he told Ad Week. "And we apply that."

And, unlike existing methods for assessing the impact of online campaigns on offline sales, which typically require marrying shoppers' credit card data with the campaign weeks afterwards, Foursquare says it can deliver data on a daily basis.

While the initial launch of Attribution Powered by Foursquare is restricted to the US, Krasniqi said the company had "a hit list of 10 markets" and was also exploring how the program could be extended to cover television ads as well as digital ones.

Data sourced from AdWeek, TechCrunch; additional content by Warc staff