Location Analytics: What is The Buzz About?

Retailers have a wealth of location-based data available to them. The question is how they can tap into this data in their efforts to grow and enhance their businesses. Below are just a few ways:

Single Customer View

A sale is no longer a single transaction that takes place there and then; nowadays a sale is seen as a series of interactions between retailer and purchaser and analysed step-by-step: how did the customer find out about the product (Facebook ad? coupon in a magazine? door-to-door mailing?); what attributes are particular to the customer who eventually makes the purchase (age; location of home; male/female; income band); where is the purchase made (which store? on-line?). Collating this information on each single transaction and merging the data can build a ‘proto-type’ customer (the ‘single’ customer). With that customer in mind, subsequent marketing strategy can target future customers with a more purposeful focus.

Real Time Location

A huge proportion of individuals carry location sensors such as mobile phones and retailers can identify both who might be a purchaser and where they are at a particular time. A well-timed well-located pitch can prompt a sale. It is worth bearing in mind that actually only 19% of retailers are using this so-called time marketing.

Evaluating ROI

The running joke is that half of the money/effort is wasted, it’s just that no one quite knows which half! Location analytics has certainly become helpful here; a restaurant chain sponsoring a music festival can now analyse properly whether sales were boosted by its presence, by comparing who ate in their establishments in the weeks before and in the weeks after the event. In one case, the ROI was 1300 new customers.

It is fair to say that location data is extremely valuable to retail industries. It is also fair to say that available location-based data continues to grow at a fast speed; just consider IBM’s’ conclusion that 90% of world’s data has been generated in the last two years only, of which (according to Deloitte) more than 80% is associated with location! This obviously has an impact on the location-based services market: a growth rate of 25.5% from 2015 to 2019 has been predicted here.

Location matters, and retailers exploring the impact of location on their business and fully embracing the knowledge that these analyses bring will have the real edge.