Retail Site Selection Glossary

Skyhook helps retailers assess the opportunity in a new market and gain a competitive advantage by leveraging accurate location analytics and consumer behavioral data. Learn the terms we commonly refer to when writing or discussing the topic. 

Use cases

Retail Site Analytics

The process of selecting a new retail site location involves identifying specific geographic areas that have the potential to drive the greatest revenue for the business. In order to select the optimal site location, retailers need to collect specific data points — often referred to as retail site analytics.


The most common types of data include demographic information. Other types of data involved in retail site analytics include population size and change, market share of competitors and total potential market.

Demographic Data

Demographic data from mobile technology is gathered from Census Block Data. This data is essential when studying different aspects of an area for retail site selection.

The US Census Bureau is the lead organization in collecting demographic data, which is made available for consumption by both private and public organizations. Demographic data includes different characteristics of a population, such as marital status, income, ethnicity, gender, race and income at specific points in time. The characteristics of a population, or demographic data, can be isolated to a specific region or pertain to the whole country. During retail site selection, demographic data can be used to understand the population within a given trade area and whether or not that matches with the business’ target market. 

Demographic Analysis

When considering whether or not to open a new retail store in a specific location, demographic analysis can help retailers better predict the likelihood of success in a given market. Where demographic data provides characteristics about a population at a specific point in time, analysis looks at the change and trends in demographics over a period of time.

Geodemographic Data

Where demographic data broadly refers to the characteristics of a population, geodemographic data refers to the characteristics of a population within a specific geographic region. These regions range in spatial precision from global and national all the way down to block and building levels. Geodemographics can be combined with activity data to provide detailed insights about human behavior in and between these regions.

Site Location Analysis

Where retail site analysis provides businesses with insights into the surrounding community, site location analysis provides data on the performance of existing sites. For retailers who want to know about the activity around a specific shopping center or potential location, site location analysis leverages movement patterns and demographics to help inform retailers of the best location for a future store.

Foot Traffic Data

Using location intelligence, retailers can collect information about the movement patterns and behaviors of consumers in a specific area. This type of information is incredibly useful for helping retailers find and optimize both existing and new retail locations.

 

Spatial Analysis

Spatial Analysis is a type of analysis that explains human behavior through topographic, geometric and geographic analysis. It provides insight into the spatial location of the object being studied. It’s used in retail site selection to to analyze the fit of specific retail stores with the already existing retailers in a given market.

Geodemographic Target Market

 Geodemographic Target Market is the classification of different groups of people based on their given location, as well as quantitative comparisons among the population. Retailers often use geodemographic target market analysis to better understand whether the surrounding neighborhoods match the preferred target market.

Trade Area

A trade area is a geographic region from which a retailer draws in business. For brick and mortar retailers, this is often a specific radius surrounding a store. The size of the trade area will depend on the type of business. For example, a grocery retailer and a clothing retailer may each have uniquely varying trade area sizes due to their unique businesses.

In all cases, retailers need to consider both the demographic makeup and foot traffic of their trade area before selecting a new brick and mortar location.

Retail Site Location

The retail site location is the location where a retailer is considering or has decided to open a retail store. The process of identifying a retail site location uses both site selection analysis and spatial analysis.

Census Block Group

The most accurate and smallest unit of data provided by the US American Census. This data includes information about household income, demographics and more.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

These types of systems are used to store, aggregate and visualize geographic data. The computer-based system allows for quick manipulation and visualization of specific geographic data.

Journey Time

In retail, journey time refers to the amount of time it takes for a consumer to reach the store. In some cases, this includes a trip from the consumer’s residence as well as from the parking lot to inside the store. By looking at the average journey time of existing customer’s, retailers can find locations that mimic similar distances from a target market.

Customer Journey

Customer journey refers to all the touchpoints between a business and a customer before the point of purchase. This includes both online and offline interactions, which are all attributed to the final sale. For brick and mortar retailers, this also includes the in-store experience.

Share of Wallet

Share of wallet refers to the share or percentage of customer spending that a business captures compared to competitors. Retailers aim to increase their share of wallet by capturing competitors’ customers.

Brick & Mortar

Brick and mortar refers to the physical presence of a retail store. This term is used in contrast to a pure play store, which only sells products or services online.

Gravity Model

When determining a trade area, analysts use the gravity model, or a measurement of the amount of interaction between two cities. This helps retailers understand how far people are likely to travel from to visit a potential site location.

Look-alike Modeling

Using a third-party Data Management Platform (DMP), look-alike modeling is when companies use the characteristics of a sample demographic to builder larger audiences for advertising. By using a DMP to add new characteristics to the original audience, companies can find similar audiences to expand customer acquisition.

How Skyhook Does It

At Skyhook, our location network provides us with access to massive amounts of highly precise mobile device data. Our location data combines first party data gathered via our Skyhook Context and Precision Location SDKs with data provided by our trusted partners. This data provides insights into anonymized behaviors of mobile users as they move throughout their day and where they frequently visit and shop. Additionally, Skyhook conducts foot traffic analysis to analyze consumer movement patterns at specific venues or events to extract meaningful market insights.

Skyhook leverages common ad identifiers to easily combine with device graphs, CRMs and other 3rd party data sets.

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