Create a Successful Business Retention & Expansion Strategy with Location Intelligence
January 24, 2021
For organizations involved in economic development, business retention and expansion (BR&E) is like customer retention for businesses. BR&E programs, often created by economic development organizations, connect and grow businesses within communities. These programs rely on business intelligence to help address company needs and build partnerships to address challenges.
While business intelligence on its own is a powerful data solution, it can be enhanced with location intelligence. Location intelligence, based on human mobility patterns, can provide economic development agencies with the information they need to understand how consumer behavior is impacting the businesses within their respective communities.
Let’s take a look at how location intelligence can be used to support business retention and expansion programs.
Enhancing Traditional Market Analysis
After the BR&E program team has been established, a market analysis is often conducted. This allows the team to understand how businesses within a particular area are performing. Traditional data that is collected for this type of analysis includes characteristics of existing or potential customers and details of the trade area. Surveys are conducted to collect further information. Location intelligence can enrich the traditional data gathered for market analysis with real-world consumer behavior patterns.
Consumer foot traffic data is especially useful in this case. This can provide analysts with insights into fluctuations in business activity (including supply chain), consumer preferences, and trade areas. With this information, local, regional, and national consumer trends can be mapped out for areas of interest.
Developing and Implementing BR&E Strategy
Once the data has been collected and analyzed, the BR&E team should reach out to local businesses. Further qualitative data can be gathered based on interviews with business leaders. While meeting with businesses, the economic development agency can present a data-driven strategy to help them overcome common business challenges.
For example, if a business isn’t getting too much foot traffic in its current location and online sales are up, then leadership can work with their city’s economic development organization to select a better site based on customer preferences. Location intelligence can be used to conduct site selection analytics.
Let’s say that the business is a small chain that specializes in home improvement. Currently, the business is located in a low traffic area at a strip mall. A new shopping center has just opened and is in need of tenants, so the economic development agency works with the business to determine if that is the right location for them. After analyzing the data, they find that the consumers who visit the shopping center are interested in home improvement and often travel to another shopping center to get home repair supplies. Without this information, the business might have decided to move to a different city or even close down their brick-and-mortar store to focus online.
Later on, the same retailer might see success in their new location and decide to expand to other areas. They work in tandem with the BR&E team to conduct another site selection analysis driven by location intelligence. Based on this data, the retailer discovers that they should expand locations to the financial district and near an emerging planned community.
Location Intelligence for Business Retention & Expansion
Consumer trends are shifting faster than ever before and this will continue to impact customer retention, which in turn affects business retention and expansion. When businesses don’t meet their customers’ expectations, they risk falling behind their competition and ultimately their respective industries.
Today’s BR&E strategy calls for a different approach to data collection and analytics. Insights from location intelligence can help economic development agencies work with businesses to overcome challenges, such as customer acquisition and site selection. Business retention and expansion strategies require timely data to ensure accurate decision-making with near real-time data analytics. For more information, contact our location intelligence