The Business Power of the New Store Locator

Published on September 25, 2014

The evolution of technology over the last 40 years has created a timeline of innovation that will forever be etched into history.

We started with typewriters, and then moved to word processing and other business tools via Microsoft Office.  Now, with the rise of cloud computing, we are almost unanimously embracing some element of cloud-based applications, which is ushering in a new era of productivity.

The next step in productivity is maps.  While information visualization through mapping is not new, we are about to step into a new territory that mirrors the business capabilities we are leveraging through tools like Google Apps.

However, the first step in this evolution is acknowledging that mapping is no longer the exclusive domain of trained GIS analysts.  This is resonating loudly in the chain store arena, where next-generation store location solutions are disrupting how stores operate and develop expansion plans.

Here’s how the power of location can help this industry.

A simple piece of data such as your store locations and competitors’ store locations creates a canvas for performing analytics regarding proximity to competition and regions of high or low coverage.  Complex datasets such as store reach, local demographics, and traffic volume can provide an additional layer of business intelligence scenarios.  3D mapping can help take this to the next level by visualizing highway access to a store or conducting line-of-sight analysis for optimal placement of a billboard.

Population and demographic data, such as household income and occupants, and average spending, can be easily integrated to provide insights on the areas where there is significant opportunity.

All of this information is the fuel for enhancing business performance.  New promotions can be visualized by degrees of success or failure, and new site reach and radius can determine if there is a risk of self-cannibalization.  These insights lead to accurate expansion decision-making, increased sales, higher customer retention, and greater probability of success.

In other words, this effort leads to reduced risk, and greater profit potential, which is something that every shareholder appreciates.


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