Retail Mapping with Map Business Online

Let’s pretend I am a retail store manager using business mapping software for the first time. What if I had a retail store located in Denver, Colorado and I’d asked each retail associate to track the zip codes their customers were from and report them to me? I could import the data my associates had collected into my business map software and see what I can do with it. I would I conduct retail mapping?

As it turns out my associates’ data was bigger than I expected. I have a spreadsheet with a few hundred zip codes, and many repeats. I’m just going to import the data into Map Business Online and see how I do. Interestingly, the mapping application will help consolidate like zip codes into one record. In Map Business Online we call this summarizing by zip code or county.

I can also adjust my symbolization of the data to show data densities or color code by customer type or any other column of data you’d like to use for classification purposes. But really I just want to summarize my map plotting by zip code and show the data counts per zip code. I achieve this summarization of my data counts through the color coding process. I assign small dots, create a numbering scheme that suits my analysis. Think: What do my bosses want to see?

Next I can create a map-area-of-interest around my retail coverage area – the area that shows all the counts submitted. This might also be called a sales territory map. The business mapping process for market analysis or territory creation is the same.

After I’ve set my territory I can view the data as summarized, in my map by zip code area of interest. I can adjust my data layers to reflect my desired data, appropriate for this market analysis. I have the ability to add demographic layers to the analysis as necessary. All selected demographic data can be totaled by layer and exported out for use outside of the map application. Now we’re creating demographic maps as well.

Further Segmentation Ideas
• Where possible, visualize your customer address data base on a map
• Try color coding by zip code or county to track customer counts by zip code or county visually.
• Import demographic totals in zip code or county layers to compare tracked totals with population or income totals
• Layer highways and or cities over the top of the map for reference using premium layer options
• Import another address data set showing the location of competitive stores
• Split the zip code area map view into territories based on customer activity
Colorado Retail map

An analysis like this is applied by retailers to explore new store placements or to gauge operational expansion requirements. For instance, perhaps a new store is not justified but hiring three outside sales people to cover rural communities might make sense.

Take charge of your business future by creating powerful business maps out of your address-based business data. Visualize your business before your competitors do it. Or maybe they already do?

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About Geoffrey Ives

Geoffrey Ives lives and works in southwestern Maine. He grew up in Rockport, MA and graduated from Colby College. Located in Maine since 1986, Geoff joined DeLorme Publishing in the late 1990's and has since logged twenty-five years in the geospatial software industry. In addition to business mapping, he enjoys playing classical & jazz piano, gardening, and taking walks in the Maine mountains with his Yorkshire Terrier named Skye.
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