Brands have to be available whenever a customer needs to buy
Customer convenience has taken on a new meaning over time. In our mobile world, customers buy products and services as they move around – and so brand owners, logistics operators and retailers need to know where their customers are, at any time of the day – and make sure they can buy what they need.
The relevance of product availability is being determined by the residential population of families who make up a market, but also increasingly by where the customer is when away from home – in other words, a retail mall’s presumed market changes as workers and shoppers become increasingly mobile.
This varying consumer demand may have helped push the development of more and more retail centres and the growth of consumer product availability at, for example, fuel station forecourts. But there are shifts both in the number and profile of people, so knowing what product needs to be where, and when, is a critical challenge modern marketers face.
Lightstone’s Daytime Population Data helps to shed light on the changed landscape. It builds on other data sets as well as other Lightstone products such as Footprint, which provides manufacturers with location intelligence and the latest insights on neighbourhoods and retailers, and Kaleidoscope, which has 19 segments representing South Africa’s diversity, and allows a user to filter and query the data to find clusters and pockets of opportunity.
While most commercially available population data is typically representative of a country or area at night-time and driven by household reporting, it’s true that many brands need to stay with their customers as they move around during the day. Lightstone provides this crucial location intelligence by combining vehicle telemetry data with night-time population data.
This means brand owners, logistics operators and retailers can quantify just how much an area grows or shrinks during the day and they can compare day and night income profiles and in this way make sure the right product is in the right place for the right customer at the right time.
To illustrate the point, we’ve taken a snapshot of a suburb in Sandton, which has both residential and commercial components. Not only do the graphs below demonstrate just how the Daytime population more than doubles, but how the wealth bands change too.
By night, this suburb’s resident adult population is made up of Wealthy wealth band (64%), Comfortable (33%) and Not-too-poor (3%). By day, however, the population changes significantly, with the lowest income band now accounting for 39% of the people in the area, with the other categories dropping – in percentage terms – as follows: Wealthy (24%), Comfortable (20%) and Not-too-poor (18%). This reflects some of the inflow and outflow of the working and shopping population and has clear implications for the need for various product types to suit varying tastes and income bands.
Data from malls and forecourts help tell customer stories too, by homing in on specific destinations. Lightstone analyses data around unique and repeat visits, peak and arrival times, dwell times, predominant language, competitor mall share or preference and catchment size, shape and shifts.
This rich information helps tell brand owners and retail stores who is visiting the mall or fuel station, when they do so, how long they spend there, and a range of characteristics and loyalty preferences.
Importantly, although the dwell times at forecourts are just 5 minutes compared to 35 minutes on average at malls, the numbers visiting forecourts are significant and not far off the mall count. Lightstone measures activity at 4,500 forecourts and 1,000 malls, allowing your brand to get beyond the simple average, and see how to win in a specific geography.
Even more than dwell times, we can see who is visiting which forecourt or mall – what economic band they come from, and which fuel station brand they are buying from. It is this data which can inform your market strategy. For example, in the graphic below, each cluster represents a specific service station that is frequented by Sandown residents. In this case, the “Super wealthy” shoppers opt for fuel station A, while the “Comfortable” category opt for fuel stations B and C with greater regularity.
The imperative for marketers is clear – in striving for convenience, brands need to position themselves optimally for customers, whenever and wherever they are. Lightstone’s suite of products will help ensure products are available to consumers when they are needed.
If you would like to start using Location Intelligence to be ready for your customers, please contact Lightstone’s Location & Commerce team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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