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Brick-and-Mortar Retail Locations Meets Big Data E-mail

Brick-and-Mortar Retail Locations meet Big Data 

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Cutting-edge technology and brick-and-mortar retailers have never got along perfectly. The relationship is complicated, but it can be incredibly harmonious despite the knee-jerk opposition of many retailers to things like online shopping, mobile apps, Bluetooth beacons and now Big Data. Business owners who reject these ideas are often left behind as the natural selection of capitalism demands better, smarter, and cheaper strategies. But what about those who embrace these revolutionary technologies? This is where we see an elegant integration of ancient and modern, providing customers with the best of both worlds: the familiarity and convenience of brick-and-mortar retail, enhanced by the actionable and dynamic insights provided by machine learning.

Location intelligence has earned its keep as an invaluable tool to anyone with retail space. In fact, it’s a total game-changer, not just because it helps businesses find their perfect location and understand their client base, but because it’s becoming increasingly effortless to integrate into both new and long-standing companies totally.

Retailers don’t need to waste time wondering if location intelligence is right for them- because the answer is, universally yes. Machine learning is no longer just for the computer scientists.

Here’s how it’s elevating the retail industry:

  1. Where: The first and most obvious major advantage of location intelligence in retail is that it significantly reduces the inevitable risk associated with opening new locations, in both familiar and totally new markets. Site selection has, until now, been a gamble, with business owners relying on word of mouth and gut instincts in deciding where to set up shop. But as many retailers know (or have learned the hard way), choosing the perfect location is a science as well as an art. Location intelligence platforms are analyzing massive data sets to help any business determine its sweet spot between too much competition and not enough foot traffic. And they’re doing a good job. At this point, retailers who reject location intelligence will struggle to find optimal locations as their competitors jump on and flourish from the insights of big data.
  1. Who: Location intelligence can answer a lot more questions for a business than just where to open its storefront. In fact, as more massive and comprehensive data sets are being integrated into location intelligence platforms, retailers can learn the nitty-gritty details on who makes up their target area and what they buy. This provides obvious benefits for targeted advertising, a tried and true method in today’s technological economy. Targeted ads save money and hit the nail on the head when it comes to reaching your ideal clients. A thorough understanding of your client-base will also reap massive rewards when it comes to making inventory decisions, as retailers can tailor their stock based on who they serve and what their spending habits are.
  1. What: Beyond the basics, location intelligence is built to understand complex relationships between the variables at play in your retail area. Machine learning can help your business in massive ways even after you’ve picked a location and stocked your shop. Next-level number crunching of data unique to your business combines with overarching insights derived from global and regional data sets. All of this comes together to understand the factors the drive and impede revenue. Once these key drivers are identified, retailers can use location intelligence to look even deeper and see how they interact to make real and estimable impacts on revenue.

We’re past the honeymoon phase of big data. We know that it’s accurate, comprehensive, dependable and not going anywhere. It’s no longer a matter of whether or not retailers can afford these fancy technologies— it’s whether they can afford not to embrace the most effective methods of success

Rilos is an established company with years of expertise in catchment area analysis, location intelligence and every services that can help your business open a store in the right location, please check our GIS software GEOMATRIX and contact us to find out how it can help you reach your goals.

 
Foursquare Analytics aims to help stores understand foot traffic E-mail

Foursquare Analytics aims to help stores understand foot traffic

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While Foursquare started as a social check-in app, the company has always said there is a bigger picture — mainly related to unique ways of leveraging its database of check-ins at nearly 100 million public places.

There’s no better example than when Foursquare predicted that Chipotle same-store sales would fall 29 percent after the Mexican chain was hit with E. coli outbreaks. The actual decline announced by Chipotle ended up being a spot-on 30 percent.

As you can imagine, these analytics can be very valuable to retailers, allowing them to better understand customers’ habits as well as predict store traffic.

So today the company is announcing Foursquare Analytics, a foot-traffic dashboard for brands and retailers. The platform is available for retailers with any number of stores, no matter how small. Previously the only way for companies to access this data was through one-off deals with Foursquare.

Retailers will be able to use the dashboard to see foot-traffic data across metrics like gender, age and new versus returning customers — on a national or citywide scale. They also can compare their foot traffic against a set of competitors and their category as a whole.

 

The data is collected via Foursquare’s existing database of locations (which powers more than 100,000 apps, including Snapchat), as well as anonymized in-store-visit data collected from users of Swarm and Foursquare who have opted in to always-on location sharing. Foursquare then normalizes this data to make sure it accurately represents the U.S. population as a whole.

As a demonstration, Foursquare ran a case study analyzing T.J. Maxx’s recent retail success. As part of the study, they were able to determine things like what percent of foot traffic comes from high-frequency regular customers versus new ones.

Early partners include TGI Friday’s, Taco Bell, H&M and Equinox — but the platform is available now for retailers of any size.

 

Similarly, services like Rilos's geomarketing predictive analysis tool are being implemented by retailers worldwide at a fast pace because of their benefits in terms of resources allocation and loss prevention in diverse market expansion activities.

Originally appeared on: TechCrunch

 
Why location-based shopping may be the new big retail trend E-mail

Why location-based shopping may be the new big retail trend

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One thing that we can say about online shopping is that it’s convenient. Being able to search for the item you want, order and pay and have it delivered to your door from your home, work or on the go is very convenient. But at present, even as Amazon and the like get faster and faster at bringing things to your door, there is a special kind of convenience in being able to walk into a store, pick something off a shelf, pay and have it in your hand immediately.There are a lot of good reasons for shopping locally in stores, including experience and discovery, but convenience is certainly up there. Which is why the next big retail trend could be buying from what’s around you, rather than what’s online. Certainly there are a number of companies that think so, and are using tech to make buying local as quick and easy as any online purchase.

 

NearSt – the shop local app

 

  1. NearSt is a startup that believes “finding and buying something from a real shop nearby should be faster and easier than ordering it online.” The company’s app-based platform lets shoppers search for the product they want and then tells them which high street stores local to them have it and how far away they are. They can also see delivery options, with products usually delivered within the hour.

 

Currently the company has over 100,000 products from across London available to its users. If a shopper sees something they want they can place their order then and there. The store then puts the product aside and confirms that it’s ready for collection. Originally NearSt focused on books, but it’s now expanding to cover all sorts of products and stores. What’s interesting is that NearSt’s system can integrate with any kind of inventory system, from the newest to the oldest, which means shoppers can see a ‘near-live’ list of what’s in stock in a certain store at any one time. It removes any need to call a store and check stock, or for the store to look things up on their system.

Geomatrix – Smart location analysis for expansion

  1. Geomatrix is an online platform that entrepreneurs and real estate investors are using worldwide to conduct their market research and location analysis, it leverage big data sets with dozens of parameters to deliver accurate and actionable geomarketing to expansion teams and advertisers.

 

 

Long gona are the days of expensive and time consuming location studies retailers had to carry on for weeks in order to

 

open in the right neighbourhood or street. Rilos provides a easy to use solution that allows investors spot opportunities and

 

avoid risks in their expansion activities in minutes and for modest prices. Geomatrix is quickly being implemented

 

worldwide by both multinational retail giants and individual real estate investors and the geomarketing informations base

 

available is constantly growing.

 

 

Quiqup – couriers that can shop for you

  1. Quiqup goes one further. This startup will pick up anything from anywhere (within its coverage area) and deliver it where you need it to go. What’s more its team of couriers can even go into a store to buy what you need and then bring it you (for an additional charge). It’s the ultimate in convenience shopping if you want something in your hands almost immediately.

You can request a pickup from anywhere you like, but Quiqup has also signed up over 400 partners who want to sell their products on-demand to customers. Products picked up from Quiqup’s partners cost less because the partner company covers a service charge, therefore giving customers an incentive to buy from them. With a large number of food outlets among its partners, Quiqup is another competitor for Deliveroo, Uber Eats and other food collection and delivery services.

Like NearSt it’s Quiqup’s custom-built app that enables customers to place requests for pickup and delivery and tracks couriers on route in real time. Users can also edit their requests along the way and chat to their courier (or Quiqee) for an update if needed. The service is currently operating in London, but the company is continuing to expand its offering, and looking at other accessible and affordable ideas for on-demand logistics.

What’s the value in shopping locally?

They may be tackling it in different ways, but both NearSt and Quiqup are putting a new twist on shopping on the high street. It also raises the question about how important shopping locally will be to us in the future.

Right now there are people who want to shop locally because they want to support small businesses or don’t want to support large ecommerce companies. Some people want to be able to try products on before they buy and others want locally-sourced items that may be harder to get online. But a lot of us go to our local stores because we need to buy something and nothing can get it in our hands faster than a physical shop down the road.

Our modern always-connected lifestyles mean that the concept of instant gratification is pretty much hardwired into us now. We want things immediately, which is why online retailers are always improving their delivery service to get things to customers faster and faster. But unless you are an ecommerce company with the scale and network of Amazon there’s always going to be a limit on how many places you can locally hold stock and therefore a limit on how fast you can deliver.

What NearSt, Quiqup and others have realised is that the store around the corner from you already has this stock available, sitting on the shelves or in the stock room ready for you to buy and take away. Retail in the future is going to focus more on connecting the dots between this stock and what people are looking to buy.

If a friend recommends a book to you, you can use NearSt to see if the store near you has it so you can get it and start reading straight away. If you need to urgently buy something, but can’t leave work to do so, Quiqup can buy it and bring it to you. Smart retailers are leveraging their own store networks to move stock around quickly, so that if something isn’t available in a buyer’s size in one store they can send it over from another nearby. Click-and-collect is an established offering for many retailers as shoppers seek to answer the question of ‘what does this store near me have in stock right now’, by finding what they want to buy online and reserving it for collection.

What does this mean for the future of shopping?

The other thing that companies like NearSt and Quiqup are doing is helping retailers capitalise on sales through mobiles. It’s widely recognised that customers are increasingly shopping using their smartphones. Last year UK online retail association IMRG reported that “smartphones and tablets accounted for 51% of UK online sales”, and this is only likely to continue to rise.

Not only are shoppers buying through their smartphones, we also know that they increasingly use them when in stores to compare prices of products, read reviews and even to order the items they just looked at online. With NearSt and Quiqup retailers can tap into this shopper behaviour and use it to send sales their way. If you know potential customers are using their smartphones to find the products they want to buy, then you want to be visible to them during that process. If they know they can check and see whether a store near them has a product, order it and even send it to themselves, and therefore get it quicker than ordering online, then that’s a compelling reason to do so.

What’s more, in 2015 Google reported that “search interest in “near me” has increased 34X since 2011 and nearly doubled since last year. The vast majority come from mobile—80% in Q4 2014.” Clearly location-based searching is a growing trend, and one retail needs to respond to. Uber is a major example of a company using the location of its assets (in this case its drivers) to the customer to great effect. Stores should be doing the same.

Ultimately customers want to be able to shop for what they want, when they want, where they want. For retailers with high street stores, their location and convenience for instant purchases is hugely valuable in meeting these expectations. What they need to do now is leverage it. Letting customers see what’s in stock in a 10 minute radius to them and order, in as quick and seamless a way as placing an order with a big ecommerce company, seems a good place to start.

By Kate Trotter

 

 
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