More retailers are exploring location data to drive sales.
It’s safe to say consumer behavior — especially where consumers go and when — has changed drastically. For retailers, this poses a challenge: How do they know where potential customers are and how to target them?
Today’s smart retailers will act quickly and leverage location data to drive sales.
But Make Sure it’s Good Data
In today’s digital world, data is limitless. But it’s important to know that the data you’re using for business decisions is reliable, accurate and trusted.
Before retailers can make informed decisions with their data, they need to achieve data integrity. Data integrity is built on four key elements: enterprise-wide data integration, data quality, location intelligence and data enrichment. By investing in these four core areas, businesses can ensure trust in the data they’re using for critical business decisions.
While all four elements are equally important when it comes to the full picture of data integrity, retailers can and should place significant focus on location intelligence in this rapidly shifting environment.
What Location Intelligence Can Tell You
By utilizing location data, like dynamic map visualizations, a retailer can compare traffic patterns, demographic data, competitive pressures, and other geographic data to inform site selection for a new store. This can help weed out locations that may see low foot traffic or lack accessible parking options. Site selection will be critical to the success of brick-and-mortar stores as the world comes out of the pandemic and the surge in online shopping it brought forth.
Further, retailers can use data to make sure they’re choosing products best suited to the shoppers of a particular location. For example, a major chain can use location intelligence related to weather patterns to home in on when a region may have a rainy season and send additional inventory of umbrellas, rain boots, and jackets to stores in that area. This will result in a boost in sales for those store locations and install trust in the community that the retailer is the go-to resource for items of the sort — again, something that is critical for a store’s success as many turn to online buying for quickly needed items.
This extends to other scenarios, specifically who a store’s primary customers are. Understanding if the community your location serves is primarily stay-at-home parents, college kids, working professionals, or a specific ethnic community can help inform what types of products you should carry and where you should focus promotions.
Even big-box retailers aren’t a one-size-fits-all and must tailor their focus to what the community they support needs. Something that can only be achieved with good data.
Putting Location Intelligence to Work
Location intelligence can drive advertising initiatives for retailers as well. A sporting goods store can target those who visit a local ice rink for discounts on hockey gear — ensuring you’re targeting people in the right area with the right interests. Proximity and accessibility are key for attracting and retaining customers.
Similarly, a team fan store could display a digital billboard on a highway near a major sports venue on game days advertising team gear promotions. This tactic would drive foot traffic, brand recognition and last-minute sales.
As more things normalize following the pandemic, retailers will need to utilize location data to understand their customers in this new world. This means getting a grasp on data now to ensure it’s “good” and then building strategies around it that drive sales.
Paul Thompson is senior product management director of Precisely.