Retail site location analytics software is a game-changing investment – just make sure you’ve done your homework. Here’s a checklist of criteria you need to consider before buying retail site location software:
1. Quality of Data
Better informed, more reliable decisions come from using the right data. Data quality is a concern for retail site location professionals as this directly effects the results of the solution and after all, site selection analysis software is meant to provide not just answers, but the right, most informed answers.
To implement strategic site location analytics effectively, it is imperative to work with massive amounts of data. As a result, a site selection solution will be developed with amazing detail and accuracy that considers demographics, core customer psychographics, competition, cotenants, and more.
This checklist item is also twofold - it is important that your data is also as qualitative as possible. When you provide your location, customer, and sales data to a site selection consultant, their solution will directly reflect the quality of insights provided.
2. Company Experience and Expertise
According to Hyper Office, the ultimate testament to judge retail site location software is its users. Seek companies that have some proof in the pudding – an extensive client list and established tenure in the industry.
This checklist variable almost tops the list as it is important in many ways. In many business dealings today, the quick and dirty version is often what is sold – only for the client to be disappointed in the long run (Shhh: let’s not even mention money lost). We have substantially increased our turnaround time in all things business as a society, but site selection analytics runs more along the lines of “good things come to those who wait.” Choose a company that has the wisdom and history of site selection. The retail site selection industry is ever-changing and so a company that is well-versed in its derivation and evolution as well as its future will be the key to your buying success.
3. Technology Advances
- Mobility: Smarter, connected devices with real-time information exchanges and advanced data analytics are transforming the world we live in. You need to be connected no matter where your work takes you, so full mobile capability is a must.
- Interaction: It’s your brand, your solution, and your data. Make sure you can explore and interact with your solution to actually see your locations, analyze new geographies, find new customers and see competitors in full color when buying retail site selection software.
- Transparency: From analysts to the C-suite, your site selection software should connect your entire organization around a common understanding of your customers, markets and performance drivers.
4. Omni-Channel and Multi-Channel Interaction
Omni-channel is retail’s new battle ground. According to Pitney Bowes, the role of the physical unit is taking on new dimensions related to order pick-up, merchandise warehousing and product showrooming. Customers are showing an increasing desire to order online, yet use the brick and mortar location as a showroom, or as a point of delivery for pick-up of goods purchased online.
Omni-channel retailing is about delivering the full customer experience, both online and in-store. Depending on your business-model, if you or your potential analytics software service provider haven’t already implemented this strategy, you’re behind.
5. Ease of Use and Implementation
An adoption and implementation time is inherent to every new technology-based purchase. Ensure that you have the right people in place in your organization to maximize the features and benefits of site selection software.
Also, as tech -savvy as you, or the company in which you are considering buying software may be, glitches are bound to happen. Make sure that your service provider provides you with access to client support for any questions, training, problems or any other client support you may need.
There you have it – a checklist of things to consider when buying a strategic retail site selection solution. If you’re ready to use analytics to propel your business to its full potential, contact Buxton today. Our analytics solutions and technology, combined with 20+ years of retail site selection experience will get you the right answers to make great decisions and drive results.