The retail industry is experiencing many changes regarding how it approaches customers, and technology is the key element in the relationship with most of them. Google Maps can also contribute. Do you know how to make the most of it?
We are already aware of the impact of social media on our day-to-day relationships with customers and on our brand image.
On the other hand, online outlets do not need to be our enemies. Click & Collect formulas are becoming more widespread because they are advantageous to both parties: customers are sure of the availability of an item and they (usually) save post & packaging costs; sales outlets can add sales to their business by simplifying logistics and get customers to visit one of their establishments. This leads to the chance of another sale when customers collect their items.
How can Google Maps help you in your retail business? It’s quite clear: by helping customers find you, indicating your location in a given geographical area. In this case, you can also share your images with them, such as images of the shop or floor plans of the store.
And that’s not all. You can also provide them with the best route to reach your business regardless of the means of transport used (public transport, car, or on foot). Furthermore, the system provides real-time information on traffic and can calculate the time needed to reach their destination, which makes things much easier.
So far, nothing that a Google Maps user wouldn’t know.
Prediction of customer traffic flow, buying habits, and inventory
You may already know that Google uses its technology to warn users of the busiest times of the day in bars, cafés, restaurants, or shops based on past data. This feature, which was launched last year, is useful for consumers who like to know when certain establishments are busiest: perhaps they want to go to a lively bar or, on the other hand, they may prefer to shop at a quiet, bustle-free establishment.
This customer flow prediction feature can also help you to decide how much staff you need.
However… what if, once a customer has selected a particular item, you show them the stock available at each location in their area? You could do this by integrating this information in real-time with geographic information.
You can also turn the tables and, instead of focusing on your establishments, you could focus on the customers. How? Integrating third-party information, such as demographic data, supply chain data, or properties data.
Furthermore, Google Maps provides analyses of the demographics of each area to improve your sales. With this in mind, we propose some ideas: study the consumers’ purchasing habits, link this information to geographical data, allocate the advertising budget based on area analyses, etc. In all these activities, you could link your management systems to the Google Maps geopositioning system. As a result of all this, you could have the information needed to relocate sales outlets or to differentiate the stock available in different shops.
In fact, this customised product management will allow you to create inventories based on the specific needs of consumers in each environment.
Improve the online shopping experience
Another interesting function offered by Google’s APIs is ‘Places Autocomplete’, which, based on information from Google Maps, makes it possible to complete the shipping address for on-line purchases and avoid mistakes in this phase of the operation. More so when these forms are filled-in using mobile devices, given the added difficulty of using on-screen keyboards. This helps to reduce the checkout abandonment rate when customers complete their purchases.
Google Maps APIs open up the possibility of integrating geopositioning and management processes in order to improve business decisions. At Intelligence Partner, we combine our extensive technical knowledge with broad business experience. Thanks to this, we can help you to add new potential to your business.