Retail Site Selection Process: Locating the Best Trade Area

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In order to choose the best possible location for your retail business, you need access to timely data and a sound location strategy. Precisely and Unacast have teamed up to provide you with the information you need to make the best decision for your business.

retail site selection

The importance of retail site selection in new markets

Companies increasingly rely on analytics to measure new business viability and make location decisions. Unacast has partnered with Precisely to offer comprehensive site selection solutions for multinational retailers looking to expand.

Unacast and Precisely together offer insight into foot traffic and migration patterns, and can map customer profiles and data to optimize success in a new location.

Choosing the right location matters

Whether you are one of many site selection consultants or part of an in house real estate group, one of the most important factors in the success of a new retail location is its visibility on a map. Location data services can help retailers identify the best areas to open a new business.

Consumers are increasingly time-poor and value-oriented, so it is crucial to choose a retail site that is in a heavily-trafficked and demographically appealing area.

science of retail site selection

The science of retail site selection

Data for site selection includes supply chain issues and local economic development prospects. Data scientists shifted to using aggregation methods, or clustered data, to improve privacy and utility while still gaining insights into people’s mobility patterns.

This shift allowed for better implementation of dynamic data extrapolation, where devices at rest could be charted across time and space to create dynamic clustered data sets.

Precisely's Senior Product Management Director for Location Intelligence and Analytics, Paul Thompson, highlights the move from static to dynamic data as a key innovation for retail site selection.

This change allows for large-scale insights over millions of individuals, unlocking important real-world knowledge of human behavior without exposing the routines of single individuals.

“The advantage lies in being able to leverage mobile movement data to effectively link to the purchasing power of where customers live and then follow that purchasing power across the market during the day.”

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Learn how Unacast location data can help with your retail site selection process.

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aggregating data

The aggregate data phenomenon

Consumer privacy is important. Focusing on single devices provides limited insights compared to aggregating data from millions of devices. What was once seen as a limitation is now a powerful tool for analyzing consumer data. This applies to businesses looking for a new facility location, whether it's a shopping center, parking lot, or store.

By pooling multiple data sets, businesses can get a better estimate of their growth potential in light of the trade area, operating costs, demographic insights, and median income of the surrounding community.

Kenny Ling, Senior Project Manager at Unacast:

“Flexibility is key – Unacast is able to take work off of company hands, and really dive into the granularity of the data that serves the needs of the business.”

The big shift

The long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic are still being felt by many businesses. Retailers have been hit hard by changes in consumer patterns, and leases on investment properties may be a source of regret for some.

Restaurants had to quickly adapt to new reality of takeout and delivery only, and data on foot traffic patterns can help businesses understand where the hotspots are and when the busiest times are.

This information can be helpful in deciding whether it's better to move to a new location or make changes to the existing one.

Where are people going?

The pandemic changed human migration patterns, increasing remote work and relocations. We use data aggregation and device observation to determine home locations and evaluate shifting demographics, so that risk management, network optimization, and targeted marketing strategies can be implemented before site selection.

Trusted, reliable location data reduces the worry associated with choosing the perfect spot.

A leg up in site selection

When considering the foot traffic potential of a location, it is also important to look at the presence of competitors. If the location is desirable, there is a higher chance that a similar business will already be present or may open in the vicinity.

Data enrichment solutions can provide more information about the competition and the location, which can help inform a decision about a potential real estate transaction.

Location intelligence combined with detailed mapping ensures a prospective retail store can open with line of sight regarding site procurement, development and leasing analyzed from several key perspectives.

Insight, anywhere

In our globally connected age, retail site selection isn’t a local matter. A retail business that would be considered risky in the Netherlands may be a hit in Australia.

Taking advantage of big-box grocery stores' inability to keep up with online orders during the pandemic, Sydney startup Milkrun helped turned the promise of ‘instant delivery’ into a sector unto itself.

Securing a $75 million investment to expand across the country, the success of Milkrun and other operators in the newly-minted rapid delivery business space showcases the value of forecasting consumer needs.

The rise of Enterprise IQ has traditionally coincided with retailer maturity. Aggregated data sets allow new and established companies alike to enjoy insights into the buying patterns of their target consumer.

Schedule a Meeting

Learn how Unacast location data can help with your retail site selection process.

Schedule a Meeting

Open shop

Site-specific data is available to ensure a retail location opens in the optimal physical space. Does a new business require a street front, or the end unit of a retail plaza in order to accommodate a drive-thru?

The Unacast foot traffic data set collects confirmed visit information related to known points of interest (POIs). This allows businesses to see where foot traffic is coming from and what businesses, attractions and venues serve the similar interests of their targeted consumer base.

Aggregated data solutions tailored to your business needs

Your company deserves a one-stop shop for the data relevant to driving your business. With Unacast, the guesswork traditionally associated with retail site selection can be eliminated.

The collaboration between Unacast and Precisely seamlessly integrates refined data collection and deep domain expertise to ensure direct line-of-sight and interactivity.

Interested in learning more? Join companies in the U.S., Australia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in partnering with Unacast and Precisely. Schedule a meeting with us and get a free consultation.


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