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Retail: a new ultra-precise method for choosing the location of your store

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How well should you choose the address of your sales outlet? This is the whole point of a location study. Good news for all those in this situation: we are marketing a new data source in Belgium and France that gives results of unprecedented precision for an attractive price (from €1,000). The data comes from the GPS of smartphones. Thanks to this data, we can provide you with unmatched results quickly. We explain everything in this article.

If you are in a hurry, contact us without delay by email or by telephone on +32 2 347 4586. We are usually able to provide the results within a few days.

Summary

 

The importance of a location study for a convenience store

The importance of a good location for a sales outlet is evident. A poorly located point of sale is guaranteed bankruptcy.

The location of the sales outlet is the number one criterion to consider when starting a retail business. Beyond the very concept of your point of sale, its location is the factor that will decide its success or failure. So, don’t take the location analysis lightly. Accurately determining the number of people passing in front of a sales outlet is undoubtedly the most profitable investment you will make during the life of your store. And the good news is that we now bring you a simple, fast, and affordable way to get the traffic flow measurements you need to make your choice.

 

The different methods available to measure traffic flows

Until now, the measurement of traffic flows has been based on manual readings (which we describe in our article on prices of market research methods).

The most affordable treatment has been to take spot readings and project the results. To avoid the uncertainties involved in projecting the results, a comprehensive one-week survey during business hours was also possible — video analysis allowing both an exhaustive count and a qualification of the characters according to age and gender.  While the number of people passing a sales outlet is an essential criterion, the typology of passers-by should not be neglected. Your store may have a specific positioning that requires a particular type of clientele.

 

Using GPS data to measure the flow of passers-by

carte des flux de piétons à Bruxelles, BelgiqueThanks to the new methodological approach that we offer, we are now able to study quickly and accurately, and over several months, the flows of passers-by in front of any address in Belgium. The data we use comes from the GPS chips of smartphone owners. This data is aggregated and anonymised (GDPR compliance), and analyses are carried out to determine the number of people passing an address at any particular time of day.

This method works particularly well in city centres (Brussels, Antwerp, Liège, Ghent,) where flows are often high, mechanically reducing the margin of error and increasing the accuracy of the statistics provided.


The accuracy of the statistics provided

The figures we can provide you with are much more accurate than those offered by telephone operators. Indeed, while mobile phone operators also market data on the flow of their subscribers, this data is based on GSM antennas (often several hundred meters apart in cities), which leads to insufficient accuracy to produce results at street level. The data on which we base ourselves has an accuracy of +/- 8 meters and allows for operation at street level, sometimes even at pavement level.

The results are provided by day, week, month and even by the hour. You can, therefore, see  how the traffic in front of your future sales outlet evolves hour by hour. These figures are essential for you to decide between two points  of sale and we are the only ones in Belgium who can provide you with them.

As you can see in the illustration below, we collect multiple measurement points at street level. Your future business will, therefore, be covered without any problems, and you can be sure of the choice of location.

localisation des piétons dans les rues de Bruxelles

Are ancient counting methods obsolete?

Does this mean that other methodological approaches are now obsolete? It depends on the context. In urban areas, it is clear that we are now able to provide exhaustive counts over 6 or 12 months for a price equivalent to a manual count over a week. We will therefore no longer propose this method, nor that of partial counting.

In peri-urban or rural areas, on the other hand, the volume of GPS signals may be too low to apply this method. In this case, it is always possible to use one or the other alternative.

It is clear is that counting based on GPS signals does not give a qualitative indication of the nature of the passers-by. An in-depth analysis of the flow in front of a sales outlet is therefore still required.

 

 

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Pierre-Nicolas est Docteur en Marketing et dirige l'agence d'études de marché IntoTheMinds. Ses domaines de prédilection sont le BigData l'e-commerce, le commerce de proximité, l'HoReCa et la logistique. Il est également chercheur en marketing à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles et sert de coach et formateur à plusieurs organisations et institutions publiques. Il peut être contacté par email, Linkedin ou par téléphone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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