All across the globe, the retail and FMCG industry is witnessing a transformation. Businesses are breaking away from conventional ideas and are now looking to implement innovative strategies for the production, sales and distribution of goods. Living in the age of on-demand culture, where things like ride-sharing, delivery tracking, interactive activities are trending – consumers are now finding great value in the usage of maps as well as location intelligence for driving business.
From what we already know, user experience has been impacted greatly by mapping technology. Customers now expect seamlessness, which translates to finding directions easily, tracking deliveries on the go, spotting locations using their smartphones, etc. Ultimately, it depends on businesses if they want to give the consumers the experience they desire. Brands that are looking to stay competitive in the long run, need to look into providing the consumers the convenience of location services.
When you look at the retail industry, one of the most significant challenges that it faces is, failing to analyse the demographic, and also economic factors that need to be considered for considering the suitability of a location. Retailers generally end up overlooking prime factors that can be KPIs for launching a business in the most profitable direction. Apart from this another issue that ends up coming to the fore, is optimising the productivity of field sales force, by the onboarding of various channel partners/customers, and ensuring that the availability of inventory at all dealers, distributions and stores is optimum.
Location intelligence at the end of today, helps you in optimising your sales speed, automating your fulfilment operations and also in the reduction of the shipping cost for distributors. All it takes is a single platform, to help in increasing your sales productivity, providing you with sales optimization and reduction of freight cost, from first mile to last mile retail fulfilment.
When you look at location analytics – without the right tools to interpret the data that has been collated, mapping it can be quite overwhelming. When you are analysing a territory or are in the process of launching a new product line, it is crucial to analyse all your consumer metrics and then draft your marketing and communication strategies on the basis of it. Location intelligence hence, can help you in knowing your audience, analysing the market and then going on to launch your products.
Another important aspect that one has to factor in, is during business expansion, which generally entails your physical presence via setting up new stores in the existing areas or moving on to newer locations. In this case, location intelligence becomes the key for successful expansion for any business that is focused on consumers. From uncovering customer behaviour, to determining what are the best locations for the new stores, along with improving your sales in the stores – with the help of location intelligence consumer businesses can fuel their business expansion.
When it comes to improving operations, most FMCG companies look at distribution and logistics as one of the most important metrics. While most businesses have now implemented GPS ankle tracking systems in order to optimise their routes and deliveries, with millions of units moving every day, complete end to end visibility along with advance delivery route planning becomes the need of the hour. Shipping goods from manufacturing plants in warehouses to distribution centres which have adequate tracking, has been a recurring grievance at a large magnitude for logistics managers worldwide.
With the help of location intelligence you can get the following benefits:
● And advanced capacity as well as volume optimisation for every vehicle.
● ETA calculation that is highly predictive along with real-time change considerations
● The ability to track fleet movement on a single dashboard
● Real-time route planning and rerouting visually.
● Tracking of driver behaviour, fuel efficiency and vehicle speed on the go.
● Geocoding as well as geofencing, which can provide transparency for hub in and hub out.
Thus, location intelligence becomes an integral tool that can help the retail and FMCG sector in gaining competitive edge when it comes to areas such as logistics, sales force as well as territory management. A striking game changer for the industries, it can allow businesses to gain an in-depth insight into the external factors and the kind of impact they would have on the stores, business’ and overall performance. Paving the way for businesses to optimise their business strategies, location intelligence can help them in maximising their profits in a powerful and pragmatic manner.
By Amarsh Chaturvedi, Co-Founder & Director, Transerve. Originally published at CRN India.