How Location Intelligence Benefits Businesses During Covid-19

Businesses have been using location data for years now, gathering location information on their customers, as is the case with Emaar MGF Land Limited thanks to the work of its CEO Shravan Gupta. Location intelligence is location data that has been translated into useful insights that can boost a business. This information showcases facts such as where customers are, work, live, spend time, and more. Now, amid the ongoing spread of Covid-19, location intelligence is even more crucial for businesses hoping to remain competitive.

Location intelligence goes one step further than data visualization by analyzing location data. This geospatial data uses large datasets related to GPS, point of sale, transactions, traffic, and more. Using spatial analytics, companies can detect patterns in the data related to a business need, which then helps them make data-driven decisions.

This intuitive and interactive technology gives businesses access to large datasets that affect how a company performs in a specific area. The information is extremely relevant, as 53% of enterprises say location intelligence is either very or critically important to achieving goals for 2020. As Covid-19 changes business processes and the future of work, location intelligence will be even more essential, especially for brick-and-mortar businesses.

Benefits of location intelligence

Location intelligence has plenty of benefits for brick-and-mortar stores in a non-Covid-19 world. Businesses can use this technology to analyze foot traffic around an area, identify popular times of the day and days of the week for potential customers, and assess locations that may be popular among a specific demographic. This analysis helps us understand how well a store is performing and is used to optimize where to open new locations.

Businesses can also use geofencing around a competitor’s store to analyze how often customers visit the competition. Geofencing relies on cellular data, WiFi, RFID, or GPS software to trigger an action when a device or RFID tag enters the boundary. Geofencing can also be used to send in-store promotions if the user allows notifications.

Across the globe, brick-and-mortar stores have had to change the way they function entirely. While many businesses closed, others are trying to serve customers safely while following government mandates. Location intelligence can help these businesses survive and better serve consumers.

How location intelligence helps businesses during Covid-19

The pandemic has changed the way businesses function, and while a lot of purchasing has moved online, many physical locations remain. Location intelligence is one factor that can help businesses perform better. Its uses include supply and inventory updates, supply-chain improvements, sales and marketing optimization, and monitoring for increased safety.

Supply update

Especially at the beginning of the outbreak, cleaning supplies and foods with long shelf lives were difficult to find. As states continue to quarantine, and businesses open and close, customers will need to limit time spent outside, especially in high-traffic areas. Customers do not want to waste a trip to the store if supplies are low or non-existent or if the business has changed its hours.

Location intelligence can help. For example, the government in Portugal set up a platform called Open4Business that uses an interactive map to tell people which businesses are open. Companies can also use this technology to update customers on their inventories, so shoppers know when to venture out and when to wait at home.

Supply-chain improvement

Covid-19 has spread across the globe, drastically disrupting supply chains worldwide. Businesses have had to make adjustments to stay afloat, especially when supplies come from abroad. While the supply chain is catching up, location intelligence offers insights and optimization that can allow a business to perform better.

GPS-enabled IoT devices enable companies to have up-to-date location information on their goods. Logistics optimization allows for optimal route planning, especially as changes occur. While delays are inevitable during the pandemic, stores will have better insight and can prepare better communication for customers with location intelligence.

Sales and marketing

With unemployment rates skyrocketing, people have less money to spend on items, which means the competition for customers is fierce. Businesses that recognize the customer’s plight and offer personalized incentives may find themselves with more sales.

Customers may not want to travel very far to find items due to social distancing and quarantine restrictions, so businesses can use hyperlocal marketing tactics for customers in the region.

Monitoring and reporting

Businesses with multiple locations must keep up with monitoring and reporting the virus to keep employees safe. Location intelligence can help identify risk areas that management can assess to coordinate action plans. For example, location intelligence can help businesses identify shipment delays and reroute goods as necessary. This technology allows management to communicate better with consumers with data-driven facts to back up decision making.

Geoffrey Michener is CEO and founder of dataPlor.

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