Location Analytics: Understanding Competitors’ Performance

Location analytics is a viable way of getting a grasp on competitor performance, in both geographic and business sector terms.

A company can use location analytics to bridge the gap between two main sources of information that are often available in respect to a rival succeeding or failing. The first is competitor location: where it currently operates, along with details such as how long particular stores have been open (showing those sites which may be particularly good) and where stores have closed. The second factor is any stated information a company gives about its customer demographics. This could come from public reports to investors or could be deduced from its advertising channels, e.g. in a magazine aimed at professional women in their 20s.

It’s possible – using specialist software – to bring this data together to show the crossover between locations where the company operates and the local success factors of locations that are highly exposed to the target demographic.

If a company can access information on revenue in competitor outlets, e.g. from local business media coverage, it might even be possible to detect patterns and put together a performance/revenue forecast for specific locations.

It’s also possible to look at locations where the competitor doesn’t have a presence, but where the conditions appear favourable. If the competitor appears to be in an expansionary mood, it may be worth avoiding such areas, particularly if the competitor is larger or has a stronger brand.

On the other hand, if the competitor has been contracting or is stagnant, such areas may be ripe for new stores to capture an untapped market of local customers.

Location analytics is all about understanding location data and visualising it on map dashboards rather than table form.

This has two main advantages: humans are naturally skilled at intuitively spotting patterns in images and using a map view makes it easier to quickly assess the various effects of changing just one of a range of variables. This is why location analytics make any competitor analysis a lot more insightful than traditional research.

Are you using location analytics to better understand the business landscape your company operates in?