Retail chains that have grown successfully have certainly learned their share of lessons along the way. Sometimes the growth seems to come easily, while other times it’s tricky to figure out. Choosing great locations can happen accidentally, but in today’s ultra-competitive landscape, that’s rare. Especially since the market has tightened and retailers are selective in how they spend their hard-earned money.
If you’re looking to open a new restaurant, store or other business (and you’ve had success with your other locations), it’s essential that you do this right. You need to look at all of the factors that go into a location’s success:
- The number of people in the trade area
- The number of people who fit the profile of your target customer
- The precise areas where more of your customers are located (we call those “hot spots”)
- The competitors in the area (and how strong each of them is)
- The demand for the service or product you offer in the area
If you’re thinking, “Sounds great! But how?” we have your answer! SiteSeer is a tool that will help you make smarter site selection decisions and plan markets with quality data.
Our platform is powerful, but it’s also easy to use. Whether you want to dig deep into site selection analysis or create maps and reports, the platform is versatile for everyone in your business.
Why you need site selection tools and strategy
Choosing your next site should be a data-driven, detailed process. SiteSeer can help you make better location decisions. Here are a few reasons you need a platform like this:
☑️You’ll evaluate sites methodically with specific performance indicators.
You know you want to open one or more new locations that meet certain criteria. Where do you begin? With a site scorecard! SiteSeer’s site scorecards are basically a type of model that users can build using the Model Builder tool. You create a scorecard using variables that you consider most important in a location’s success. For example, you might want to find sites with a certain minimum (and maximum) population in the trade area, median income, proximity to certain types of anchors, number of competitors, etc. Then, when you evaluate sites in SiteSeer against this scorecard, each will be “graded” based on how well it fits your pre-defined criteria (A to F).
☑️You can access larger chain’s scorecards as a starting point.
Screening sites based on key performance indicators is important, but if you’re a business with only a couple of locations (i.e., not a lot of data) or you’re trying to open locations using a different set of metrics going forward (i.e., you’re rebranding/repackaging your offering), how do you approach the site scorecard creation process? SiteSeer’s Location Profiles are the answer. These are templates we’ve created for hundreds of chain retailers, restaurants and service businesses in the U.S. and they highlight the types of sites those chains normally choose (using lifestyle, demographic and site factors). You can choose a location profile as a starting point and update its metrics to reflect your goals and requirements.
☑️You’ll be able to visualize potentially successful sites on a map.
A site scorecard is quite literally a report card on a site you are analyzing/considering. Based on your inputs (key performance indicators), a site will receive an overall letter grade of A through F, and you can then further analyze why. Once you have created a site scorecard, you can run it against a grid of locations in a market or across the country and display your results as a color-coded hotspot theme on a map. Hotspots are a great way to visualize where there might be excellent opportunities or narrow down a list of sites or shopping centers to only the best ones (based on your success criteria). A hotspot analysis will provide you useful insight about best-fit locations. That way, you can remove sites from your list that don’t fit your criteria.
☑️You’ll get access to quality, updated data.
The factors that impact retailers’ businesses change often. People move and populations of cities change. Neighborhoods turn over. Roads change, which impacts traffic. Stores close, and new competitors enter a market. New types of data become available that can augment the data you rely on currently. It’s important to make decisions using the most current, quality data possible. That’s a big benefit of a tool like SiteSeer: the data you can access and subscribe to (in addition to your own company data). Learn more about the importance of quality data and why it should matter to you as a retailer.
The location of a retail store or restaurant is one of the most important factors of its success. Why approach the site selection process without the right tools to help you make this decision?