How Location Data Can Improve the Customer Experience

March 5, 2020

Quality information is a necessary resource for any business to succeed today. It is both a prerequisite and a strength to use that information to understand and improve the customer experience, as customers are at the core of a business. As such, it is vital to understand your customers’ needs, wants, and desires. However, it can seem like a puzzle to determine how to go about discovering those needs. This is where location data comes to the rescue. With location data, businesses analyze their own customer foot traffic, as well as the traffic their competitors are experiencing. 

How do you know if your current business practices meet expectations? At Gravy Analytics, we believe this is a three-step research process that begins with understanding what your customers value, learning their behavior, and ultimately benchmarking overall store performance.

Cash Register transaction at a coffee shop

Understanding Customer Values

Location analytics can be used to gather customer intelligence. This analysis allows businesses to get an idea about customers’ buying habits and preferences. For example, if you own a grocery store and you notice customers spending a long time in your store based on timestamps, observe a decline in sales, and receive an increase in negative feedback about line wait times, then you can determine that you need to adjust your checkout process in order to expedite and streamline the experience. Research shows that your consumers value convenience. 

In an era of instant gratification, customers expect convenience and are eager to receive their products quickly. Put in perspective, 59% of Gen Zers have said that they used “buy online, pick up in-store” services (BOPUS). To met the demand, more U.S. retailers are investing in BOPUS. By combining timestamps from a store’s location with available business data, retailers can adjust their checkout processes towards BOPUS and give customers the convenience they crave.

Discovering Customer Behavior Patterns

In addition to customer intelligence, location data allows retailers to conduct foot traffic analyses. Take for example, the increasingly popular pop-up shops. Pop-up retail is now considered to be part of a “mainstream marketing strategy” because it allows business owners to test out a new product or market in a low-risk environment. To make it convenient for your customers, your pop-up shop must be in a location which they would frequent the most. 

For example, let’s say that you are wanting to open a pop-up coffee shop. You already have several “brick-and-mortar” stores in the area, but you want to test out a new location that only sells your special mocha blends. In your BI tool, you notice that there has been an increase in sales of your signature mocha blends at your location close to the mall. By conducting a foot traffic analysis, you might find that your customers tend to go to the mall immediately after they get their coffee. This indicates that they would enjoy the convenience of having a pop-up coffee shop in the mall.

Benchmarking Store Performance

When operating multiple store locations, location data can be used to better compare store performance. By matching existing store sales data with local foot traffic data, retailers can determine which stores are doing a better job of bringing customers in the door, and which locations more effectively turn browsers into buyers. Ultimately, this data can be used to pinpoint proven sales or marketing practices that can be rolled out to the other stores in the retail chain. 

Additionally, location data can be utilized to comprehend the buyer profile of each location. By pairing sales data with location-derived information about buyer interests, affinities, and habits, you can inform operating hours, store inventory, or on-site experiences that will appeal to your known visitors, driving additional sales and delighting your customers. 

Eager to learn more about the parallels between business intelligence and the overall customer experience? Take a look at Gravy’s business intelligence white paper and dive into the benefits of pairing location data with business intelligence.


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