How to get return on your location-based analytics investment

13 minute read
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By TJ Lundeen
Sales & Marketing Specialist

In today’s digital marketplace, your business is only as good as the data it collects.

Whether its demographic information, psychographic insights or behavioral tracking, the opportunities for data-driven decision making are growing at an exponential rate.

One of the hottest new technologies in the business intelligence space is location-based analytics (LBA).

An $8.2 billion industry in 2016, location-based technology is expected to grow to more than $16 billion by 2021 with more and more being spent to track, analyze and gather insight from customers’ real-time movements.

There’s no doubt LBA provides great a opportunity for businesses looking to implement it, but as with all new initiatives there’s a question of how to justify your up-front investment in order to reap the rewards this technology provides.

Here are five ways to get return on your investment in location-based analytics technology:

1. Amplify your marketing efforts.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to see a return on a location-based analytics investment is through marketing and advertising.

Digital advertising that converts into foot traffic shows a real-world application of your efforts and can be tracked through sales figures.

Performing foot traffic attribution through analysis of online and offline behaviors allows your business to track which users were exposed to your digital advertising and determine if they entered a physical location.

By creating an ad campaign and comparing foot traffic before, during, and following its implementation, easy insights can be discovered.


Location-based analytics is currently being used to great effect in advertising, with 84% of marketers using location data in campaigns, and many relying on real-time data from mobile devices.

2. Find out what’s underperforming.

The first step toward getting a return on your analytics investment is understanding where your business has the greatest potential, or where it may be under-performing. One of the many insights location-based technology can unlock for your business is the performance of specific areas.

By doing this you can make decisions that lead to direct ROI in terms of increased sales or reduced waste.

By following customer flows and heat mapping, your facility transforms from a wasteland of space into a bundle of possibilities.

Knowing how people move, where they stop, and how long they spend in a given location allows your team to create conversion opportunities for under-performing products in high-traffic areas or optimize marketing potential.


In retail, 81% of retailers now gather at least some form of insights on shoppers while they are in the store.

3. Drive decisions about inventory and product development.

Businesses can see a tremendous ROI by compiling all information they have on a customer, from their loyalty card to their online history, into a comprehensive view.

Learning exactly which customers are searching for specific product types in certain locations can help a business make confident, data-driven decisions about ordering and creating new products.

This data can go so far as to help with brand expansion and store refurbishment by tracking demand in the area.


Over the past decade, data sharing has become a mainstream practice — 90 percent of customers share their location data with retailers.

4. Spend your money better.

Layering location-based data with business intelligence can create a holistic view of areas where money could be better spent.

Going further than the simple costs — marketing, salaries, and rent — businesses can dig deeper to see store losses, customer service records, and supply chain data to optimize where funds are being spent.

Using this information to identify inefficiencies can turn underperforming areas to strengths and keep money in your bank account.

$16 billion

The location-based technology industry is expected to grow to more than $16 billion by 2021, up from $8.2 billion in 2016.

5. Improve customer experience and operational efficiency.

By tracking real-time location data your business can make learn where people spend their time and where they don’t.

In retail locations, this often means businesses can move products or change store layouts to promote better customer flow. However, when you take this same data and apply it to airports, malls, construction sites, or sports venues, the opportunities for optimization grow immensely.

In these large facilities, there is ample opportunity for getting better use out of space, improving both customer experience and operational efficiency along the way.

By measuring things dwell time/wait time, management can determine which parts of their building are being overcrowded and which may be better used for another purpose.

Added features like the ability to track staff, equipment, and groups of people add a layer of possibility when it comes to getting more out of the resources you have.

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