From sending out personalized offers when the customer is in your store's proximity to gauging the competition in the neighborhoods before planning your store locations, businesses are using location intelligence to open new frontiers in business. We've come a long way since a time when tracking someone's location was a superpower only the likes of FBI could possess.

Today, you can integrate location intelligence with your business strategy without even knowing much about how the technology works. A few APIs and integrations are all that you need. How you put this intelligence to use is however, entirely up to your creativity. So let's take a look at some innovative ways you can use location intelligence in 2019 to make your business grow.


1. Find out the Best Location for Your Next Store

Planning to open a new store? Wondering what the perfect location would be? Location intelligence can help. If you are a business operating nationwide, or even statewide, the canvas is broad and pinpointing the best location for your new outlet can be a critical decision. There are just too many variables to factor in – the population in an area, the average economic status of the population in the area, proximity to places like offices, schools, hospitals or whatever influences your business, transportation facilities in the area and other such factors. Market researchers can have a hard time figuring it all out manually and the entire process could take awfully long.

Location intelligence can help you effectively answer many of those questions without really stepping out of the office, and prepare a very detailed analysis report that can substantially assist the further market research and get things done a whole lot faster and even better.

A fantastic real life example of this was seen when Russia's X5 Retail Group opened a jaw dropping 2,500 stores in one year, a move that made X5 the top retailer in Russia, valued at over $6 billion. “Those newly opened stores were good openings, high-quality openings. The percentage of mistaken decisions is very low, so we are very much satisfied with the result” said Igor Pletnev, strategic business director, X5, who attributes this success to location intelligence services that helped Igor and his team perform detailed analytics and drawing insights on potential outlets, stocking facilities around them, proximity to population hubs and other vital information, that has helped fuel this phenomenal expansion drive.


2. Better Understand Customer Behavior to Provide Tailored Services

In this day and age of big data, just giving the customers what they ask for is far from sufficient. You need to use your best analytics to discover more about your customers, what they like and how they buy. This helps businesses provide more engaging customer experiences by personalizing offers and services. From knowing customers who prefer better in-store experiences to identifying those who appreciate quick deliveries, location intelligence coupled with big data can reveal valuable insights.

Every successful business leverages machine learning and big data to do this. Adding a layer of location intelligence to the data you collect can help you unravel far more possibilities. For example, a grocery chain can find out if more people visiting their store live nearby or are coming from far? Is the store closer to their workplace?

They could benefit by quicker checkout options in the evening when employees usually leave for homes. Or would more of their customers prefer home delivery services? Answering those questions can unlock patterns that will help you provide your customers a delightful experience that keeps them coming back.


3. Make Business Processes More Efficient

Mapping data and location intelligence can help delivery services verify addresses to prevent faulty delivery trips to wrong addresses, that result in loss to the business and discomfort to the customers. Delivery trucks can use location mapping to avoid roadblocks and road maintenance activists, thus picking the fastest route, even if not the shortest. Businesses can choose packing and storage facilities or warehouses more conducive to their location. Using location intelligence services with big data helps improve process efficiency in a big way.


4. Make Marketing More Dynamic and Intelligent

Hotels send out special deals close to the airport when they know where their customers are travelling on business. Retail outlets lure customers back from their competitors with a targeted coupon when the customer is browsing at the competitor's store. Geofencing, a subset of location intelligence can help businesses target customers in specific areas or zones and send them customized marketing messages that have the highest probability of making customers act on the offer.

According to a study by eMarketer, 53% of American buying journeys begin with research on mobile and out of these, close to 20% end in an in-store purchase. So if you wish to bring customers to your store, target their phones, at a time when they are in the neighborhood and more likely to drop in.


5. Add More Value to Your BI

Every business uses analytics and business intelligence to glean insights into data such as business performance and campaign success. Adding a layer of location intelligence to your BI visualizations can help yield even more intuitive mapping giving you much more nuanced insights into where your campaigns are performing and where your marketing efforts are slacking.

Knowing this can help improve decision making by better understanding where larger number of your customers congregate, helping you determine where to place your billboards and advertising. Depending on the kind of neighborhood the majority of your customers are located in, you can even plan the kind of advertising, messaging and tonality to use. For example, you'd use a certain kind of message if your customers reside closer to the city center and different verbiage if they're in the suburbs.

Conclusion

So as you can see, knowing your customer's location is useful to more than just Uber and Lyft, every business, whether it is retail, hospitality, travel or groceries, can benefit from using location intelligence services in their marketing and business strategy. Customers today are increasingly willing to share their location data, because they expect businesses to personalize their buying experiences. So don't miss the bus.

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Author's Bio: 

Gaurav Belani is a senior SEO and content marketing analyst at The 20 Media, a content marketing agency that specializes in data-driven SEO. He has more than seven years of experience in digital marketing and loves to read and write about AI, machine learning, data science, and other emerging technologies. In his spare time, he enjoys watching movies and listening to music. Connect with him on Twitter @belanigaurav.