Retail businesses can provide better customer experience and improve the productivity of employees by using location intelligence.
In the digital era, several Americans prefer to use e-commerce websites and apps over physical retail stores. This phenomenon has helped the e-commerce sector to grow its market share to such an extent that e-commerce may overtake the retail sector someday. Hence, several retail industry giants are releasing their own mobile applications to keep up with the competition. However, just having a mobile app will not help retailers compete against e-commerce brands and other retailers. To gain a competitive edge, retailers have to unify their offline and online channels to create a comprehensive business model. Retail industry giants are implementing modern technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, and internet of things for various applications. Along with these technologies, business owners can now utilize location intelligence for retail. Location intelligence can help retailers better understand their customer demographics and analyze customer behavior in depth. With this approach, retailers can analyze and map complicated customer journeys starting from demand to the final purchase. The data accumulated using location intelligence will enable business leaders to develop personalized marketing and sales strategies.
Business owners can use location intelligence in the following applications:
Business leaders could gain valuable customer insights by utilizing location intelligence for retail. For this purpose, retailers can use a technique known as geo-enrichment. Essentially, geo-enrichment is a method to convert customers’ residential addresses into crucial insights. With this approach, retailers can utilize modern geographic information systems to generate smart maps that identify the locations of their customers. Using GIS-powered smart maps, retailers can accumulate information about various customer demographics and their behaviors. Also, business leaders can effortlessly understand which localities have the highest number of loyal customers.
Retailers can also create indoor maps of customer movement in their stores. For this purpose, retailers can utilize customized base maps that are tailored to a store’s floor plan. Also, business leaders can use spatial interaction models to generate heat maps of customer movements. With this approach, business leaders can understand high traffic areas in a store. Using the collected data, retailers can make informed decisions while redesigning floor plan layout and reassigning employees to high traffic locations in the store. Hence, business owners can optimize staff performance and understand customer behavior using location intelligence for retail.
Analysis of a trade area is essential for retailers to select suitable locations for new stores, define market share and sales targets, and analyze competitor strengths. Using trade area analysis, retailers can select locations for new stores where their target customers stay or frequently visit. Location intelligence can be an effective tool for trade area analysis. Using location intelligence, business owners can gain real-world insights about different customer demographics around prospective retail sites. Also, business leaders can understand which other locations their customers visit for shopping. Retailers can collect this data over time to measure customer trends and understand whether their customer demographic is growing or shrinking in a particular area. Also, business owners can effortlessly understand the rate at which their customer demographic is growing or shrinking by utilizing location intelligence for retail. With this approach, location intelligence can offer a data-driven approach for trade area analysis in retail.
Business owners need to analyze their competitors’ market share before selecting a new retail site. In this scenario, location intelligence can prove to be a game-changer. Location intelligence can help business owners in measuring a competitor’s market share and penetration in a specific geographical location. Also, retailers can understand customer loyalty of competitors in an area. For this purpose, business owners can analyze a competitor’s customer behavior using location intelligence for retail. Location intelligence can help retailers understand the frequency of store visits of competitor’s customers. If their customers tend to visit other stores, then business owners can use that opportunity to gain a competitor’s less loyal customers. Also, if the frequency of visits is too low, then customers may be looking for certain products in different stores.
Retailers can use a data-driven approach to analyze competitors’ strength with the help of location intelligence. Retail business owners can identify and attract the less loyal customers of their competitors by offering products and services that they are looking for. With this approach, business owners can find locations where their organization will have a unique competitive advantage that can help in the growth of their business. In this manner, business leaders can conduct accurate competitive strength analysis by leveraging location intelligence for retail.
Retail businesses require a large volume of products to meet the ever-increasing customer demand. In case a store receives a late delivery, their staff’s productivity and customer experience can be severely affected. This situation can be worse especially when customers are looking for essential daily products such as grains, bread, milk, or eggs. Hence, retailers have to constantly track the whereabouts of their delivery staff and manage the supply chain. Conventionally, retailers communicate using calls and messages, which can be inconvenient in commute and due to network issues.
Business leaders can simplify asset tracking by using location intelligence for retail. For this purpose, retailers can develop custom location apps that can be installed on smartphones of their delivery staff. Using custom location apps, business owners can track the precise location of a delivery executive in real-time and calculate accurate ETA. With this approach, retailers can track the locations of all delivery executives on a centralized system. This system can be used to analyze which factors may be responsible for delays and which routes can reduce distance. Also, retailers can design custom tracking apps for their customers to track product deliveries. Such apps will be increasingly useful when retailers start using drones for deliveries.
Retailers can set up virtual geo-fences for marketing purposes. Business owners can define geo-fences of a certain radius around their store based on the store size. When customers enter or exit the geo-fence, retailers can push notifications about ongoing deals, offers, and product discounts using their app. Retailers can also notify customers about the arrival of new products in their store. With this approach, retailers can alert their customers about the products and discounts when they are in the proximity of a store.
Retail business owners can set up smaller geo-fences inside the store. These geo-fences can alert customers of products similar to their purchases and guide them to specific sections of the store. Also, retailers can utilize machine learning to understand which products are bought together and notify customers of such products. For instance, a customer who purchased coffee may also require sugar and milk. Retail apps can suggest these products and guide the customer to sections that contain milk and sugar. With this approach, retailers can improve their sales. Hence, business owners can enhance marketing and sales using location intelligence for retail.
In the present-day competitive environment, retailers must use every tool at their disposal to maintain a competitive edge. Business owners can use location intelligence for retail businesses to analyze customer trends and identify profitable business sites. Also, business leaders can implement big data analytics for accumulated customer data to predict customer trends. By doing so, retail business owners can prepare for ever-changing customer preferences.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.