Echo Analytics is a Business Reporter client.
Opening a new location for your business is always a complicated process. It comes with unprecedented challenges, unique opportunities and the need to make swift decisions.
How many times have you decided to open (or close) a new location without having all the information you wanted? Would you have made the same choices if all the data was available to you?
If you’re asking yourself these questions, you’re not alone. More and more professionals in retail, real estate and asset management have decided to stop trusting their gut when making important business decisions, and have turned to Big Data—specifically, geospatial data—for help.
What is geospatial data?
You might have heard the term “geospatial data,” and you depend on it in your daily life more than you might have thought. Every time you look up a restaurant on a map, order food delivery to your home or plan which attractions to visit on a road trip, you’re interacting and benefiting from geospatial data.
Businesses are using geospatial data and location intelligence to make faster and smarter decisions. Geospatial data can help make better decisions in multiple areas, such as:
Here are three ways in which geospatial data can help your retail business:
1. Being in the right place
Choosing the ideal location for your store is always a challenge, whether you’re opening your first or 50th location. A data-centric investment takes into consideration the following factors:
The footfall in the area: Are there enough visitors for you to open a new store in the area? What are the peak hours of these visits? What are the most frequented locations within that area?
The customer profile: Where are your potential customers coming from? Which other areas do they visit? Which other stores do they shop at?
The competitors in the area: Who are your competitors in the neighborhood? What kind of foot traffic do they attract on a weekly basis? How does it compare to other areas where they are present? Will they add to your footfall or will they pull traffic from your location?
Once you know the answers to these questions, you significantly reduce the risks of initial investment, and can avoid cannibalization and maximize site profitability.
2. Boosting competitive intelligence
When a new business opens, it impacts all business locations in that neighborhood. Your store will bring in new visitors to the area and attract customers from local competitors. Geospatial data processes monitor such activities by:
Observing the customer journey: Where are customers coming from and where are they going after visiting your location? What other brands are they interacting with? How many of your customers are visiting your competitors?
Spotting new entrants and exits: Are any retailers opening new locations? How may their presence affect your performance? How many shops are closing?
Understanding competitor performance: What is the foot traffic to your competitors’ locations? What is the percentage of repeat customers? How closely are you located to your competitors? How did your entry affect their performance?
3. Creating geo-targeted marketing campaigns
After finding the right spot and knowing what you are up against, it’s time to ensure that your marketing campaigns are accurate and cost-effective. Whether you are building brand awareness, going hyper-local or building digital out-of-home (DOOH) campaigns, geospatial data is the key to launching an effective marketing strategy.
Geospatial insights provide data-driven marketers with the right information that helps them:
Plan location-based ads: Which neighborhood, other than that of your present location, do your ideal customers spend time in? How can you launch advertisements that are shown to specific groups of people?
Execute tailored communications: How can you craft more customized messages for your customers based on their location? How can your messages be more relevant to their current activities?
Improve foot traffic to your retail store: Based on your location, do you need to offer discounts to attract more customers? How can your store pull in customers in the area and those willing to visit from outside the area?
Why are innovative companies investing in geospatial data?
To put it simply, without geospatial data, your business runs blind. Companies that want to work smart and act fast rely on location intelligence to better understand their environment. Geospatial intelligence gives you not only acute insight into the location you are aiming for, but also an opportunity to identify and reach out to your ideal customers. Location-based innovation starts with leveraging geospatial data as a powerful business tool.
Echo Analytics enables organizations to innovate faster by helping them easily understand the physical world that they operate in. The company was founded in 2021 by three data enthusiasts who wanted to revolutionize the location intelligence industry. Headquartered in France, Echo Analytics has expanded to the US and 15 countries across Europe, including the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain.
The company provides three data sets: Places, Shapes and Activity. Places data includes millions of points of interest in the physical world that include data attributes such as addresses, names, opening hours and brands. Shapes data adds extra attributes to Places, including data on the size and shape of buildings. Activity data clarifies foot traffic trends related to Places, and gives insights into consumer behavior.
This article originally appeared in Business Reporter.
Image: iStock id1218150568