How does location affect the retail industry?

April 12, 2021

We have been facing many changes in different areas of our lives. The retail industry has been forced to adapt and respond to the impact of the pandemic. Surely, many of the changes made to react to this situation will become permanent, creating what is lately being called “a new normal”.

One of the keys to success in the new normal of commerce is Location Intelligence. It is recognized that the core element of retail has always been location, and even from a different perspective, it will continue to be so.

To recover after the crisis, grow revenues, and acquire new customers again, marketers started to leverage location intelligence to understand who their audience is, what they are interested in, where they come from, and go after. This also helps manage logistics operations, orders and shipments, production, inventory, and control social distancing compliance efficiently. The data gathered using location intelligence will enable business leaders to develop customized marketing and sales strategies.

The success of these activities will not simply depend on “going digital”.

So why does location remain an essential element for retailers? Let’s see some of the major benefits of location data analysis here below.

Understanding new customer behavior for better customer experience

Location intelligence is the key component that helps retailers get closer to their customers and attract new ones.

By collecting data, retailers can examine customer demographics, movement patterns, purchase history, and location to develop effective and personalized relationships. In addition, implementing heat maps within the store premises to collect data such as the time a consumer spends in a given area; areas of the store with the most footfalls, etc., allows

  • plan new marketing campaigns,
  • target potential customers with specialized marketing messages through location-specific tools,
  • increase store traffic and sales, and
  • develop sustainable customer loyalty programs.

Starbucks is an example of brands that effectively use location analytics. To enrich and personalize the customer experience, Starbucks leverages data as what, where, and when customers buy their products and then combines them with other data such as weather, holidays, time of the day, or special promotions.

For instance, on the GeoCTRL dashboard below, several parameters are considered: GPS tracking, foot traffic, revenue, the volume of visits, etc. We can observe how the frequency of visitors is strongly correlated with the weather, sales, advertising (online and offline) and obviously fluctuates depending on the day of the week and time slot.

Understanding new customer

Moreover, by exploiting data collected from the loyalty mobile app, Starbucks personalizes its customer experience and improves customer satisfaction. This is how it works. When a customer visits a new Starbucks store, the point of sale system reads that person’s order patterns from a mobile app and gives indications to the barista, for example, on the preferred order of that customer and suggest new products and drinks available in that specific location.

Besides the study of consumer behaviors that provide more targeted services, location intelligence can improve the customer experience by sending up-to-date information on store openings and closings in different geographic areas.

So, why is location intelligence so important for retailers today?

By better analyzing and understanding our customers, or potential customers, we can create a more personal relationship with them and better adapt our products to their demand, apply more targeted strategies and improve the customer experience.

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