We are over-users of the word exciting. But truly these are great times to be working in the location services and GIS fields. Not only is location technology being used more widely and by ever more diverse groups of users, but new sectors and vertical are emerging. Retail in particular presents a fascinating world of opportunity.
Esri have put considerable focus on retail GIS.
Retail – Customer, Products and …. Location?
Retail organizations have both the customers and products figured out. They have in place CRM’s, ERP’s and a host of other platforms to help manage and coordinate their businesses.
But what is their location strategy?
Most retail organizations have no location strategy. And yet so much of their day to day operations revolve around location. Esri are the worlds leader in location technology, and they have keyed into this missing third leg of the retail platform mix.
What do we mean by the ArcGIS Platform?
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. What exactly do we mean by the ArcGIS platform?
Sure we know ArcMap on the desktop, and ArcGIS Online in the cloud. Plenty of vendors are selling focused Web and mobile products which provide specific ArcGIS functionality and implementations.
The platform takes in each of these pieces. It is the complete ArcGIS products mix. Neither specific nor in isolation. Its an integrated, complementary mix of ArcGIS products which combine to provide a total location-centric solution.
Relevant to retailers?
You bet. Finally they have a complete solution, which provides all answers to the glaring hole in their business intelligence mix: location.
In ArcGIS retailers have a location based platform.
Retail Location Intelligence
One expression of location intelligence is the map; an easily understood medium to visualize location based data. But location intelligence platforms like ArcGIS provide a fully-fledged analytical system. Combine location analysis with the visualization provided by maps and you have a very powerful new way to analyse your retail business.
Every part of the retailers mix have location components:
* Supply Chain
* Real Estate
We will talk more about the use of GIS in retail in future posts. But this is an exciting new area we as a company have started focusing our attention.