Can Geospatial Analytics bring online and in-store shopping together?

By using local market intelligence and shop-specific purchase data, retailers can enhance e-commerce personalization and bolster both online and in-store sales.

Also known as geospatial analytics, today’s merchants are able to use this approach to identify online purchases in a particular neighbourhood and then customize their in-store stock to ensure the most in-demand products are available in that district. Similarly, retailers should also mine physical store data and local online browsing behaviour to offer an optimal product mix on their websites.

More than half of retail purchases start online, according to Forrester Research, so the challenge is to blur the distinctions between cyber and real worlds in order to create store-centric online experiences and digital-orientated in-store experiences.

Nike has recently used these strategies, opening a store in Los Angeles that features inventory and a layout design based on the company’s e-commerce data from the surrounding neighbourhood as well as from its various apps.

With e-commerce poised to grab an ever-greater share of retail spending, bricks-and-mortar stores should defend their turf by focusing on convenience – the ability to pick up last-minute purchases quickly and easily; collection – in-store pick-up of online orders; discounts; or making the store a destination that shoppers look forward to visiting.