The shift from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce channels has left many business owners wondering why location matters in the digital age.
For consumers in particular, it makes little difference whether the products they order come from Chester or China. However, with your logistics network and customer deliveries/returns to administer, it’s clear that location should still comprise a major aspect of your business strategy.
3 reasons why location matters in the digital age
Here are three of the most important reasons why location matters in an online world:
1) Manufacturing and logistics
No business is an island. Even if you sell online exclusively, you need to consider location to ensure efficient movement of your products through every stage of the supply chain.
This all begins with your manufacturing and logistics networks. Are the factories you rely on for manufacturing/assembly as close as they can be to the applicable raw materials? Or, could this link be made more efficient?
Also, are your manufacturing centres as well-linked as possible to major transport interchanges?
Lastly, make sure to factor your staff base into the equation. Are all of the locations within your supply chain positioned close enough to the demographics you’re looking to hire?
2) Buying patterns
You can accurately predict which products are likely to be most popular within each area of your market by using location intelligence for customer profiling.
Using this information, you can ensure that local distribution centres are suitably stocked to meet your customer delivery requests; whether these are consistent, seasonal or ad hoc.
You could even share this insight with your marketing team, enabling them to create bespoke offers/discounts for customers within a defined area.
3) Deliveries and returns
In addition to the logistics network required to join your manufacturing and distribution centres, you need to think about ‘last-mile’ logistics.
Customers will expect fast, efficient deliveries. So, you’ll need to set up a comprehensive network of distribution centre locations that sit close both to areas with high volumes of customers and to major road/rail interchanges.
Location has a major bearing on the efficiency of your delivery routes, helping you get the most from each journey. More advanced location intelligence software will help you gain an overview of your network and accurately calculate drive-times between destinations.
Also, make sure to consider deliveries as well as returns. If there are no suitable options for convenient collection available within a particular area, you may wish to set up a network of dedicated spaces (similar to Amazon’s ‘Locker’ facilities).
With all this in mind, it’s clear why location matters even in the digital age. However, you’ll need software with sufficient capacity to help you derive location intelligence insights quickly and accurately.
Optimise your location intelligence efforts and improve your bottom line with Periscope® from Newgrove; sign up for a free, 10-minute demo today.