The COVID-19 pandemic introduced an unprecedented set of challenges for retail businesses nationwide. Many retailers had to radically adjust workflow models to maintain commerce, and a lot unfortunately didn’t survive.
Despite the financial losses on a national scale for brick-and-mortar retail stores and e-commerce picking up significantly since the pre-pandemic days, in-person shopping isn’t simply going away. What it means, however, is that retailers need to be informed by consumer data when shifting, expanding, or relocating their retail sites.
The Three Most Important Quality Checks for Site Selection Data
Site selection tools are becoming more commonplace, and they are essential in evaluating the potential of a retail location. Equally important is the quality of the underlying data that supports such solutions. How can retail managers know their tools are providing them with the best information? The following are the three most important quality checks for site selection data.
1. Data recency
A lot can change in a short amount of time. Commercial properties proliferate or get vacated, demographics shift, and new infrastructure gets built. All are important considerations when choosing an ideal site for a business, but none of it matters unless the data is recent—particularly in light of the events of the past year and a half. Retail managers must insist on data recency as part of an effective site selection process.
Click here to read more about the most prominent pandemic-related changes in the retail industry.
2. Directional data
It’s not enough to simply understand volumes of traffic and footfall data. Directional data is incredibly important when evaluating potential retail sites. Ease of access has always had a tangible impact on business revenue. To that end, retail managers benefit from knowing whether a vehicle will need to make a right or left turn in order to access the site.
3. Day-parted data
Some site selection tools deliver their insights based on annual average traffic counts, but this paints an incomplete picture at best. The consumer movement is different depending on the time of day and the day of the week. Understanding the timing of consumer movement is essential in assessing the viability of a location as it relates to one’s business model. For instance, a boutique clothing store might be more interested in assessing evening and weekend movement, as opposed to a popular coffee shop chain, which would want to see weekday mornings. In either case, the value lies in the granularity of data.
INRIX IQ Location Analytics
INRIX has been a leading data source in the site selection industry for years, offering the high-quality location intelligence that’s trusted by a majority of site selection companies like eSite Analytics, SiteZeus, SiteSeer, Intalytics, Property Capsule, Sites USA, and Tetrad. We’re now making our location-based data and insights available to use in an easy-to-use application called INRIX IQ Location Analytics. By making it easy to access the freshest, most robust data and insights available we’re saving retailers time, money, and stress and empowering them to make more informed decisions about prospective store locations.
Retailers spend millions of dollars each year making real estate investments. INRIX takes the guesswork out of these decisions by helping businesses better understand mobility patterns around prospective locations.
The retail site selection process is difficult—especially now. Retail managers that have a clear picture backed by data that is recent, is day-parted and offers directional insights will have the best opportunity to select an ideal location for growth or relocation.