The retail sector, despite being a traditional business in general, can also take advantage of the advantages and benefits that Location Intelligence technologies bring us. Thanks to geolocation techniques, for example, the fact that a customer leaves the store or a mall empty-handed does not have to be a missed opportunity for the seller.
According to data from the Spanish Association of Shopping Centers, in Spain there are 555 shopping centers that accommodate 33,744 merchants and by 2020 some 27 more complexes are expected. Its market share is estimated at 17.9%. Reading these figures, we can get an idea of the potential of localization solutions in this type of establishment.
Advantages of using Location Intelligence in shopping centers
With the collection and processing of various customer data from a shopping center we can get a considerable amount of improvements that result in very beneficial results for merchants.
Perhaps the most obvious advantage and the best results are the ability to customize the offers thanks to a better knowledge of the likes and habits of buyers.
We are offered the opportunity to track the customer during his visit to the store and, with the data collected, analyze in which areas he has stayed longer or for which he has passed by. With this information you can show an advertisement of a product of your interest, send a message with a discount for purchase for that day in a brand or products that is in the area, rack or stand where you have spent more time, or a Offer to buy in the online store, if it has already left the premises. In this way you can recover sales that previously were considered lost.
The knowledge, even in real time, of the flows of people that are in the shopping center, as well as their consumption, allows designing shopping routes so that the client finds what he is looking for more easily.
Another facet in which Location Intelligence can be useful in shopping centers is to create satisfaction in the overall experience of going to a shopping center. For example, implementing sensors that allow locating and guiding us towards free parking spaces, offering personalized shopping guides or buying movie tickets by simply scanning a QR code.
All these advantages end up translating into an increase in the economic benefit and productivity of the shopping center, improving its ROI if we strengthen those points that have proved successful among consumers and intervene in those that do not.
Location Intelligence Technologies applied to shopping centers
Obviously, we could not enjoy all these advances without the technology that has driven the development of these geolocation solutions; we refer especially to Indoor Mapping and Machine Learning.
Thanks to the Indoor Mapping or Indoor Positioning we can define exact locations in closed environments. For this purpose, several technologies are used, usually combined with each other to have greater precision. Among them, the most traditional are GPS, ultrasound, WiFi and Bluetooth.
To date, new techniques have appeared to improve the services offered by the technologies mentioned above. Among them highlights the Bluetooth Low Energy, based on beacons.
These beacons transmit a signal of low power to mobile devices that are in short range and have Bluetooth enabled. If, in addition, these devices have a certain app installed, they can receive useful information for them, such as offers if they are inside a shopping center.
The Bluetooth of Low Energy presents certain advantages over other techniques of Location Intelligence. One of them is that its consumption is very low, on the other hand its price is between 60-80% lower than traditional Bluetooth and, finally, is better suited to simple app’s that do not require a large amount of data.
Another way to better understand the behavior of customers of a shopping center is through information on their consumption that we can deduct through the expense of their credit cards. Thanks to this information is revealed to us in which areas or stores, with what products or in what days or hours there is a greater expense. Of course, it is necessary to point out that not all the data of the cards are collected, but only those that the law allows.
As we have said, Machine Learning also contributes greatly to the digital transformation of shopping centers. With it you can predict the behavior of users thanks to algorithms obtained by collecting and analyzing large amounts of geolocation data.
Of course, all these data need to be represented interactively so that their understanding is as intuitive as possible, facilitating decision making in this way. To do this, tools such as those put at our disposal by CARTO are a great help.
At Geographica we offer Location Intelligence services for the retail sector and shopping centers. An example of this is the solution we developed for El Corte Inglés. It integrates three elements: an app for customers, another app for employees and a web control panel. Thanks to each one of them, the clients receive information of their interest, the dependents know where the clients who need help are and even who they are and the administrators can make decisions with more ease.
Online purchases have been a major threat to physical stores. These cannot compete in quantity of products with digital stores, so their strategy should be directed towards a greater personalized treatment to their customers, making them feel special and not just another number in a cold web.
On this path towards a closer attention to the users of traditional commerce, the digital transformation of them and, within it, the Location Intelligence systems play a leading role. Through these we can better understand your shopping routines, being able to offer customized