The right location can make or break your business. You could offer the best products or services around, but if your store can’t capitalize on demand (or there’s not enough of it in the trade area), you’re always going to struggle.
That makes effective site selection critical. But sorting through the different factors to find a perfect location can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. And comparing spreadsheet cells can only take your location strategy so far. That’s why your process needs to include putting your data on the map with GIS mapping.
A geographic information system (GIS) produces visualizations of data based on geographic locations. GIS mapping lets you plot multiple layers of information onto an interactive map. This makes it far easier to see where patterns emerge than viewing the same data presented in a spreadsheet.
GIS data doesn’t have to be static, either. While it can display information as it appeared at a specific moment in time, it can also visualize changes over a period of time, present averaged data, facilitate historical analysis, and show current data updated in real time.
GIS mapping is used in a wide range of fields, including city planning, healthcare services, climate science, law enforcement, conservationism, and of course site selection. It can incorporate any kind of data that is tied to a location, including features of the natural landscape like rivers, lakes, and different kinds of soil and vegetation, as well as man-made structures like roads, storm drains, buildings, and powerlines.
It can break these categories down further to show things like which buildings are residential or commercial, and where different kinds of businesses are located, including competitors as well as compatible attractions that increase footfall.
Perhaps most importantly, GIS mapping can show you where people are in a given trade area. You’ll be able to see how traffic moves through the area throughout the day, visually exploring where activity is concentrated. And you’ll also see when this activity occurs—by the time of day, day of the week, seasonally, and how it has fluctuated over the years.
When deciding where to open, close, or consolidate locations, the best sites aren’t always obvious—and the stakes are high. So you want to be confident that you can trust your decisions.
GIS mapping helps you see the relationship between a trade area and a potential site more clearly. Applying demographic and mobile data sets to the area surrounding a store, you can immediately tell if it’s in good position to capitalize on the nearby demand.
Are the right people going to be near your store at the right times? Where do they go? What do they do? How would your business fit into the existing commerce activity in the trade area? Is there enough parking for peak hours? Will traffic congestion be a problem? These are all questions you need answers to before you make a major investment, but you simply can’t do that without thorough on-site analysis or specialized GIS tools.
GIS mapping also lets you analyze things like how a store fits (or doesn’t fit) into your supply chain, the degree to which it could support or cannibalize your other nearby stores, and how much overlap there is between the area you can effectively service and the areas your competitors can.
When you’re trying to make the best possible decisions, site selection is an incredibly complex process. It’s just too much information to compare without better visualization capabilities.
GIS mapping simplifies the process by layering everything onto an interactive map where you can see it all laid out together. You can turn on or off visibility for any given factor to compare sites with more clarity.
Tango Predictive Analytics uses advanced GIS tools and data sets to help you visualize and analyze markets. Tango Predictive Analytics creates stunningly accurate sales forecasts by combining our data, your custom site selection criteria, and machine learning—empowering you to more reliably compare opportunities. With our decades of retail location modeling experience, you’ll be equipped to develop smart location strategies and make the best real estate decisions.
See what our predictive analytics software can do for your organization.