Geomarketing: the next big thing?

Marketing trend has shifted to enable consumers to engage with a business through a physical store, an online website or mobile app, a catalogue, or social media. This is called an omnichannel where marketers need to provide a seamless experience regardless of channel or device. Retail companies are gradually moving to this style of marketing. Click & Collect, check on product availability online, in-store return/order and so on are all part of Omnichannel services. There are, however, several challenges to implement this –

  • Developing a long-term strategy for channel integration
  • Understanding consumer behaviour
  • Meaningful data analysis

GIS addresses these challenges effectively and helps move towards omnichannel marketing. Geomarketing is the key to get ahead of the competition and increasing wallet share in a market that is constantly evolving. It helps answers questions like –

  • Where can I get high online sales and revenues and am I fully exploiting my retail potential?
  • Where are high online retail returns and where is the highest demand?
  • In which areas are my products often searched?
  • For which stores do customers check online availability of products?
  • What type of consumers are my buyers online?
  • Which stores are most used for omnichannel services?

Retailers analyze geographic data from retail stores, web shops, online inquiries, and offline sales, giving them insights into which groups of consumers tend to use which channels of retail in which areas. This allows planning future branch locations and aligning advertising measures with the usage habits of target groups. This helps to develop a channel integration strategy.

Retailers visualize areas with high levels of online affinity using heatmaps, which is integrated with consumer data to help answer questions like –

  • Where are my online buyers located?
  • Do I already have a high number of online buyers in areas with a high density of online affinity?
  • Do I have to advertise my webshop more in such areas?

Geocoding, i.e., converting text addresses to coordinates, is the first step in geomarketing. Offline or online, customer addresses can be geocoded to be displayed on a map that allows you to see your customer base and market at a glance, such as where a large number of online purchases or returns are made. In India, however, geocoding addresses pose a greater challenge than in other countries. This is primarily due to the unstructured and non-standardised nature of addresses in India. Geoqode is GeoSpoc’s solution to cracking messy Indian addresses by breaking them down into key components and matching them hierarchically from top to bottom from an extensively curated database.

Once customers are placed on a map, a plethora of GIS analysis uncovers hidden insights in the data to give your market a comprehensive picture. You can essentially geolocate and analyse customer behaviour. Understanding an area’s potential brings you a step forward in developing smarter, streamlined plans for transforming your business model to omnichannel marketing.

Vivek Gouda | Client Engagement Manager, GeoSpoc

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