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Marketplace spotlight: Geospatial analytics in retail

May 28, 2020
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Location Analytics

Geospatial analytics are the analytics of a particular location, used for more accurate modelling and to help predict trends. Data and insights have various uses and are used across both public and private sector businesses, including, for example, retail partners who use geospatial analytics to understand customer journeys to and from retail destinations and to help identify new store locations based on demand.

Real-Time Location

Location-based advertising models are fast becoming a staple of the marketing world and consumers are getting increasingly used to personalised ads specific to or triggered by their location. Geospatial analytics give advertisers the ability to target their audience based on their real-time location. Location-based advertising works on the presumption that people always carry their smartphone with them, which in a hyper-connected world is a strong hypothesis.  

By analysing the real-time location of their target audience, advertisers can customise marketing messaging based on their prospective or existing customers’ current location. By collecting real-time data it also provides more immediate testing and learning opportunities, forming the basis of advertising and marketing targeting.  

Data Analysis  

Data can be obtained from various sources, including mobile devices and ePOS systems, and it can then be linked to location data, allowing retailers to build a more accurate profile of their target customer base. New technologies mean that retail organisations across the world are generating vast amounts of data, but not all companies are using those insights to form part of their marketing strategy, potentially leading to unnecessary storage and security overheads.  

Advancements in geospatial technology have led to a rapid increase in the frequency and volume of data collection. Retailers now face the challenge of managing and utilising huge volumes of data. Artificial intelligence and machine learning enable organisations to process terabytes of geospatial data and produce reliable insights to help inform business strategies.  

The Marketplace

The geospatial analytics marketplace continues to thrive with forecasts suggesting huge leaps over the next four years:

Market Growth

Real time location systems (RTLS) & location based services (LBS)

There are major factors that are driving the growth of the RTLS and LBS markets. RTLS solutions have been highly adopted across healthcare, retail, manufacturing and automotive industries and the regulatory compliance needed in some of these industries has also helped to boost the demand for RTLS solutions. Thanks to the emergence of innovative startups and the availability of customised solutions leading to market competitiveness, the RTLS market continues to experience rapid growth.

Businesses are investing in spatial data and analytics to understand trends and challenges across regions, a factor that has led to significant market growth. Geospatial data and location analytics software assists retailers with real-time analysis on changing consumer needs and behaviour, business trends and regulations and compliances. 

In the retail sector, geospatial data helps retailers to uncover the relationship between stores, products, demands, preferences and customer types across various metrics that can impact the overall sales performance. Retailers are also able to track stock levels, allowing them to coordinate efficient stocking of stores.  


Whilst the sector has undergone exponential growth and is forecast to continue, there are some constraints that may slow this down.

Data privacy - data security and privacy is one of the major issues faced by several industries, particularly in the healthcare domain. Threats of cyberattacks in healthcare have never been more prevalent and are a major issue for every organisation looking to establish RTLS entry points.  

Whilst real-time location tracking is revolutionising how businesses utilise their resources, concerns have been raised over the fact that RTLS provides the exact whereabouts of individuals at any one time. This carries this risk of employees potentially having their working hours and break times unfairly monitored.  

Governments around the world are focusing on the importance of data regulation in order to keep people's data secure and private. The Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act (GPS Act) would establish a legal framework that provides clear guidelines regarding the access and use of geolocation information. The bill would also see businesses prohibited from disclosing geographical data without the customer's explicit permission. Despite companies’ efforts to educate their customers on geospatial data, the concerns over data privacy still continue to sit at the forefront of the industry.  

Data misuse- misusing location data, even if unintentional, can have serious legal consequences for both organisations and customers. Contracts drawn up for projects that use geospatial data should address usage, processing and retention of location data.  

The main concern over data misuse is when the location data is combined with other disclosed data information, increasing the risk of identity theft. It is therefore crucial that businesses ensure all legal and privacy-related concerns are dealt with before using any form of geospatial data collected by location intelligence tools.

Complexity - The disparate sources of geospatial data - from smartphones to POS - mean that retailers are having to process data on a large scale before it’s in a usable format. This comes with significant cost overheads, whether that’s through establishing an in-house data science team or contracting and agency.  ​

​​How Wejo can help

Geospatial analytics comes with a range of complexities, from privacy issues to standardisation. That’s where wejo comes in. We organise data from the world’s leading automotive manufacturers, bringing together big data in a single, easy-to-access platform. Connected car data and insights power accurate, reliable and targeted geospatial analytics and can enhance or replace existing data sources. 

Wejo’s pioneering Vehicle Movement and Driving Event connected car data products help retail organisations better understand their customer demographic, including understanding frequently visited points of Interest (POI), shopping habits such as time spent at retail stores and even the number of occupants per vehicle to accurately predict retail footfall. We help retailers to understand how, when and where to target key messages to their audience, improve distribution through better store placement and understand competitor behaviors based on traffic flows and trends.

Detail oriented - Featuring data on both speed and direction or travel, you’ll have a clear insight into journeys around your retail location and other points of interest.

Your locations – We work with you to build out your ideal points of interest, which can be as specific or as broad as required, taking the noise out of retail analysis.

High Precision - Derive precise and reliable insights, with vehicles tracked at regular intervals throughout each journey of interest.

Focus on privacy - It’s our priority that what’s private, stays private. We champion consumers and consent is always at the forefront of everything we do.

Our partners are able to benefit from our Vehicle Movements & Driving Events products in a number of ways including retail planning, footfall analysis and trends, demographic profiling and much more

Together with our partners we’re using Geospatial Analytics to improve retail performance and ensuring our partners get the insights they need to help to transform the way people live, travel and work.

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