Is Your Site Selection Strategy Missing Location Intelligence Insights?
April 11, 2023
Site selection strategies for businesses have evolved greatly in the last few years due to the pandemic. Whether it was because of the accelerating “retail apocalypse” or the mass exodus of people from some of the nation’s most populous cities, the way a business chooses its next commercial site looks very different today than it did years ago. For example, shopping was reinvented as retailers were largely forced to pivot to digital-first experiences during the pandemic. The pandemic created a wave of storefront and shopping center closures that changed the outlook of in-person retail experiences. This means that site selection for retail, real estate, and other purposes requires thought and planning within a new societal and economic context post-pandemic.
For this reason, aggregated location data is more important than ever to understand the ways Americans have moved, adapted, and changed since the pandemic.
Human Movement Post-Pandemic
The pandemic has caused significant shifts in human mobility and this means significant shifts in site selection strategy for businesses.
For instance, did you know that the state of Texas now has 9 of the top 15 fastest growing cities in America? Businesses looking to expand may not have considered Texas before, but now, there is a wealth of new possibilities in such rapidly growing areas. And not only that, but there is now an overall trend of Americans relocating from crowded metropolitan areas to less dense areas. As some of the nation’s largest cities lose some of their population to suburban or even rural areas, how might this change a company’s approach to site selection and expansion?
Moreover, urban centers have been experiencing less foot traffic post pandemic as Americans work from home more and more. This can create drastic changes in the daily routines that fuel commerce and traffic in many commercial areas. For a significant number of people, social gatherings have also become less of a priority in the last few years. As American routines continue shifting and adapting post pandemic, companies will need to continue reassessing and reanalyzing human mobility to stay ahead of the curve.
Site Selection Strategy in 2023
While the rise of remote work and online shopping has transformed the way businesses operate, real-world site selection is still a crucial process involving, arguably, more strategy and planning than ever before. By working with location data providers and using high quality location intelligence solutions, businesses can gain valuable insights into human mobility patterns and consumer behavior trends, ultimately enhancing their site selection strategies and driving continuous improvement.
Despite the emergence of online shopping via websites or social media apps, e-commerce businesses still need to be aware of foot traffic patterns throughout the supply chain, as they can significantly impact their operations. They also need to be aware of where their audience is and how or if those people are moving in new ways, especially as new mobility trends have emerged in response to the pandemic.
Digital Business and Real-Word Site Selection
A great example of this is how Tikok, the popular social media app, is looking to grow its e-commerce presence by developing a network of fulfillment and distribution centers across the U.S. A move like this requires accurate insights, like those that can be gained from location intelligence, to ensure that warehouses built by TikTok are in locations where there is a large pool of skilled workers, efficient transportation routes for incoming products, and quick delivery access to consumers.
This would also bring TikTok head-to-head with Amazon, the leader in online shopping. With such a massive competitor, TikTok site selection strategists would need to also understand where Amazon fulfillment centers are located and what delivery strategies are already working. Gaining insight into things like traffic on roads, population density, and consumer behavior trends in various regions could bring added value to warehouse site selection, and it can all come from location intelligence. Moreover, Gravy’s location data forensics can flag location data signals shown as driving, which could help analysts discover travel and traffic patterns in potential areas for their warehouses.
Location intelligence can be a vital component in determining new warehouse sites for any company, including those seeking to establish a real-world presence, such as online social media companies like TikTok. With the emergence of new trends in foot traffic and shifts in consumer behavior, it’s critical for businesses to use tools like location intelligence to understand the changing landscape and to make informed decisions when selecting new commercial sites.