Tips & Tutorials

How Spatial Data Turns Good Retail Ideas into Growing Brands

How Spatial Data Turns Good Retail Ideas into Growing Brands

It’s 5:15 p.m. on a Tuesday when Sally Owens is driving seven-year-old Pete home from soccer practice. He’s hungry, she needs to grab a new phone charger and dad’s at home waiting on a box of hinges to fix the kitchen cabinets.

She takes a right at Conner Street and pops into a big-box retailer for the charger. A few doors down is the hardware store, so mother and son step inside and ask a sales associate to help them find the hinges. By 5:45 p.m. they’re in line at the nextdoor mediterranean restaurant for a takeout meal. A short while later, the Owens’ SUV pulls into the driveway brimming with plastic bags. Everything the family needed was neatly packed into one quick-and-easy shopping trip conveniently located on the way home from soccer.

Coincidence? Not by a long shot. The brands that benefited from Sally’s shopping excursion knew exactly what she needed and where she’d be when she went to buy it. They’ve analyzed countless pockets of their very best customers to determine who those shoppers are, where they travel, what marketing they respond to and which locations best meet their day-to-day needs.

This is precisely the kind of scenario that results from using spatial data to turn a good a retail idea into a growing brand.

Why analyze spatial data?

Spatial data is the key to getting it right every time. This location-based data—everything from mailing addresses and proximities to trade areas and territories—can be used to unlock deep insights about your company, customers and competitors.

Analysis of spatial data is what lets you see who’s driving where (and when), how one location impacts another and which pockets of customers hold the most promise for your brand. Without this highly detailed information on where customers live, work, drive, shop, recreate and more, your company may never reach the full potential of its data.

To better understand the impacts of spatial analysis, let’s look at a recent example.

Real-Life Example of Spatial Data Analysis

In the early 1990’s, a young entrepreneur named Brian Schultz opened a small movie-theater-restaurant. It was like most dining-style theaters at the time, where moviegoers could dine on basic bar food and beer while watching second-run motion pictures on a single screen. Then Schultz had an idea:

Why not expand to an upscale area, use a bigger building and convince Hollywood studios to provide first-run films?

It was a truly original idea. But without spatial data to prove demand for the concept, it took a long while to gain momentum and get support. Still, Schultz persisted. After months of pitches and pavement pounding, Studio Movie Grill landed its first-ever first-run movie screening—which ended up being the top gross in all of Dallas, Texas.

By 2012, Hollywood studios were lined up to get on Studio Movie Grill’s scheduled. New releases were being served up alongside freshly-made meals, and local customers were coming in droves.

Around this time the company was facing another huge challenge:

How to expand the concept beyond Texas.

The spatial data difference

The potential for Studio Movie Grill to grow on a national scale was big—but how big was anyone’s guess. Which markets should the brand enter first? Which areas should be avoided? And how do decision-makers reduce the risk of choosing a wrong location?

With many Americans trading in the traditional theater experience for at-home streaming and HDTVs, answering these questions was crucial. So Studio Movie Grill decided to follow a multi-tiered approach to growth. It looked something like this:

  1. Identify the segments of your best customers: who they are, where they live and how they buy
  2. Pinpoint pockets of those best customers to identify ideal trip and traffic trade areas
  3. Determine where there’s enough demand to support the concept and decide how many locations could potentially thrive in markets across America
  4. Divide, corner and conquer the niche

In October 2015, when Studio Movie Grill opened its first location in Simi Valley, CA, reporter Scott Mendelson had this to say about the concept in a Forbes review:

“Would I go to this theater again? Absolutely, and not just because it’s five minutes closer to my house than the Cinepolis…the Regal in Simi Valley…and the Muvico in Thousand Oaks. This goes along with my efforts to try to experience a variety of theatrical movie going options.”

It’s precisely the kind of customer response that comes from data-driven decisions. If you want to turn a great idea into a growing brand, start by analyzing your spatial data.

P.S. TrailBlazer™, eSite Analytics 360° retail analytics tools, is capable of handling this exact spatial analysis process. Learn more here. (Or request a demo.)

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How to Have More Fun at ICSC RECon in 2016

How to Have More Fun at ICSC RECon in 2016

Confession time: Each year we join more than 36,000 other retail professionals on the sojourn to ICSC’s RECon, the retail industry’s biggest and best conference. We hunker down to gain new insights, meet amazing people, catch up with clients…

…and never venture outside the walls of the convention center.

And that’s just sad.

After all, we’re going to Vegas. The destination that draws millions of tourists annually who come to shop, eat, explore and spend. In fact, it’s thanks to the more than 240 major shopping centers that this city is able to pull in billions of dollars in annual retail sales.

So this year, let’s make a pact to enjoy a little more of Las Vegas in the midst of deal making. There are plenty of great places to wow prospects, enjoy a good meal with clients and solidify relationships outside of official show hours.

Sound good? If so, keep reading for our short guide to a great time in Las Vegas—RECon style. Whether you’re looking for ways to fill small pockets of downtime or creative ideas for networking, this is the list to use. Print it, bookmark it and commit to using it!

Take a Retail Real Estate Tour

Las Vegas is known worldwide for its shopping. According to one recent count, an impressive 59% of the city’s 39.7 million visitors shopped during their stay—likely because the biggest retail attractions are situated within resorts.  It’s worth taking a detour for a first-hand look at what makes several of the area’s most successful shopping centers so appealing:

  • The Brooklyn Bridge replica at New York-New York hotel, a pedestrian-friendly dining and shopping area
  • The Shoppes at Crystals, a couture center complete with an indoor art walk
  • Bally’s Las Vegas, an open-air shopping promenade across from the famous Bellagio Fountains

Enjoy Some Good Grub

Las Vegas is a food mecca, with more celebrity chefs and fast-expanding franchises than you could possibly imagine from within the confines of the Las Vegas Convention Center. As you plan and schedule your meetings for the conference, here are our top picks for meals on the town:

  • Shake Shack, where you can indulge in the atmosphere that’s helped the brand amass a cult-like fan base
  • Carbone, which has an uber-classic atmosphere that’s guaranteed to impress an important prospect or client
  • The plaza at Monte Carlo, which offers a great case study in open-air concepts

Get a Rooftop View

RECon rightly demands a lot of time and attention, leaving little space for enjoying much of Las Vegas itself. But while you won’t have time to cruise The Strip, you can see it from the sky. Skyfall Lounge, located on the 64th floor of Delano Las Vegas, is a great place to get 180-degree views of the city and sunset-inspired beverage choices.


Which of these will you explore first? Still not sure you’ll have the time to step away? Fill out the form below to schedule a time to meet with eSite Analytics, and we may be able to bring a little of Vegas to the convention center for you.

Are you headed to RECon 2016?

Let’s meet! Fill out the form below and a member of our team will reach out to set up a time to connect.

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How to Get More out of ICSC RECon in 2016

How to Get More out of ICSC RECon in 2016

Year after year, the industry’s not-to-be-missed conference attracts tens of thousands of retail real estate leaders, shopping center executives and investors. ICSC’s RECon is a “must-attend” event that analysts and executives look forward to for months.

If you’re new, it can seem overwhelming at first. Even when it’s your tenth time attending, the sheer number of opportunities to learn and connect makes prioritizing a challenge. This is especially true when you’re a participant and a sponsor.

That’s why, for this year’s conference, we’ve decided to do things a bit differently. Rather than spending the bulk of time at the Marketplace Mall, members of the eSite Analytics team will be attending, absorbing and participating to get as much out of RECon 2016 as possible. So, without further ado, we’re sharing the approach we plan to take at this year’s conference in hopes it’ll help other registrants plan and prioritize.

1. Plan your sessions

From a lunch with international phenom Bobbi Brown to a keynote address with the CEO who grew Zappos sales to over $1 billion annually, RECon is the place to glean insights from global leaders. Preselecting the ones most relevant to your current needs will help ensure you can go back and formalize your company’s own growth strategies for 2016 and beyond.

ICSC Mobile App for RECon 2016

2. Use the ICSC mobile app to decide who you want to meet

If you want to do a little recon before you go to RECon, try replacing one of your favorite daily downtime activities with a perusal of ICSC’s mobile app. You can save the sessions you want to attend, see who else is going, view the floor plan and connect with other ICSC members. Start creating a “hit list” of the companies and individuals you want to meet with—and why. Then put together a list of questions you’d most like to get answers to, and start reaching out to those who can help answer them.

Enjoy Shake Shack during RECon

3. Map out the best times to visit Shake Shack.

At least, that’s what we’ll be doing. Lines at every restaurant in this fast-growing burger chain tend to snake out the door, so this is one meal that’s worth planning ahead.

eSite Analytics RECon Booth

4. Schedule your appointments

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from RECons of years past, it’s that schedules fill up fast. After all, there are more than 30,000 attendees—and every single one will be there to network. One year, the time slots for our own one-on-one retail analytics demos booked up nearly two full months before the conference start date. Start blocking off time now so you don’t risk missing important opportunities.

What about you? What ideas do you have for making RECon 2016 the best experience yet? Let us know at @eSiteAnalytics.

Are you headed to RECon 2016? Fill out the form below so we can get in touch and arrange a time to meet! We’ll walk you through our 360° retail analytics tool, TrailBlazer™, and show you how companies like Le Creuset and The Container Store are using it to grow faster, more efficiently and more profitably.

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Marketing to Millennials (Part 2)

Marketing to Millennials (Part 2)

In this post, we introduced you to three distinct categories of millennials. Ranging from low-budget bargain hunters to high-income status seekers, there’s a full spectrum of dramatically different shopping habits in the 19- to 35-year-old crowd.

It would be a shame to market to all of them the same way, wouldn’t it? You’d miss out on so many opportunities.

Today’s 76 million millennial spenders are tomorrow’s trillion-dollar demographic. This means that the sooner you can secure their loyalty, the longer-lasting your relationships with them will be.

In this post, we’ll go over a few more subgroups of millennials based on Experian Mosaic® segmentations, and offer a glimpse at where they’re headed.

Who Are Today’s Millennials?

To give you a clearer understanding of what’s at stake for B2C brands: There are roughly 80 million millennials in the U.S. spending approximately $600 billion a year. Those numbers grow every year as more millennials move to America, climb income ladders and start families. Some estimates say they’ll be spending as much as $1.4 trillion annually and represent 30% of total retail sales by 2020.

What Do Different Millennials Look Like?

At the younger end of the spectrum are those born in the early 1990s. While many are still in school, some are starting out on their own at first jobs and apartments. Here’s a snapshot of three distinct customer classifications with high concentrations of 19- to 24-year-olds, according to:

Aspirational Fusion

Aspirational Fusion MillennialsConcentrated in older, industrial areas, members of this group are drawn to the affordable, fixer-upper apartments where housing values are 40% below average.

Despite tight budgets, Aspirational Fusion are big on shopping, keeping up with the latest fashion and trying to make a unique statement with their clothes. They prefer to shop at discount stores near their apartments, but they also patronize national chains.

These households barely register when it comes to consuming most media. They rarely subscribe to newspapers or magazines other than parenting, food and entertainment titles. They don’t often watch TV, other than cable channels…and they have little tendency to listen to the radio. With many taking public transit to work, they’re more likely to get their tunes from ear buds than car radios.

Singles and Starters

Singles and StartersConcentrated in small cities across the country, these households tend to be young, ethnically-mixed and unattached. Most are on their own and starting to build independent lives in apartments with other young singles.

Singles and Starters like to wear the latest styles and search for designer labels they can afford at mid-market retailers and discount chains. This group provides a good marketing opportunity for the makers of electronics…[because they] like to be plugged in to the latest trends.

They’re not in the habit of reading a daily newspaper, and they don’t often read most magazines. Increasingly, they spend their free time online chatting, blogging and checking out social networking sites, to keep up with their real and virtual friends.

Families in Motion

Families In MotionFamilies in Motion are conservative shoppers who are loyal to brands and stores that provide them the most value. They prefer local retailers to national chains, but when they need a large selection of clothing or housewares they’re willing to drive an hour to a discount department store

They’d hardly qualify as early tech adopters, but they still make a strong market for DVD players, DVRs, Blu-ray devices and MP3 players.

Families in Motion go online to communicate through instant messages, emails and message boards and chat forums. Many set up their desktop computers to entertain their children, and these households also use the Internet to play games, download music and watch videos.

As we head into the older segment of millennials in the 25- to 35-year-old age group, a couple more overarching segmentations emerge:

Young City Solos

Young City SolosThese young professionals report above-average incomes topping $75,000 a year, and they seem to be thoroughly enjoying their unattached status.

These unmarried folks devote a lot of their discretionary cash to nightlife activities…joining a health club…and white-tablecloth restaurants.

They’re infrequent consumers who prefer local boutiques to national chains, though they will go to discount retailers.

Multitasking Young City Solos don’t have much time for traditional media. They are nearly twice as likely as average Americans to use the Internet [and regard it as] their main source of entertainment. They’ve made the Web part of their daily life, and they’re comfortable going online at home, work, the library or a hotel. They’re always on the lookout for new and unusual Websites.

Promising Families

PromisingFamiliesThese predominantly white households live in small homes in affordable new subdivisions. Though most of the adults are earning entry-level pay, the dual-income households have enough disposable cash to lead rich leisure lives.

They like to stretch their money, typically waiting for sales, patronizing factory outlets and heading right to the clearance racks.

They go online for a variety of utilitarian purposes—to buy toys and hobby items, bank, make travel arrangements, trade stocks and get the weather report—and to keep their children entertained at home with music, videos, games and Internet radio.

When you look at millennials according to these specific segments, it becomes easier to understand the shopping habits and consumer behaviors of each distinct group so you can market to them more effectively. It also provides a crystal ball view of where different millennialist are headed as they climb career ladders, start families and move to new neighborhoods.

And that’s just for starters. When combined with location analytics, you can determine which types of millennials are the best fit for your brand in markets across America.

Looking for more insights on millennials? Schedule a demo to see how an analytics tool like TrailBlazer makes it easy to identify and market to the right consumer groups for your brand. Request a live demo now!

The customer classifications in this post are taken directly from TrailBlazer and the Mosaic® USA consumer lifestyle segmentation. Photos thanks to Experian Marketing Services.


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How to Market More Effectively to 3 Types of Millennials

How to Market More Effectively to 3 Types of Millennials

Do you work in the retail or restaurant industry? How about finance or healthcare?

How well are you marketing to millennials?

There are 80 million millennials in the U.S., and brands are spending 500% more on this subset of the population than all others combined. If your business-to-consumer company isn’t targeting them, there’s a good chance your competition is.

Today’s average spenders are tomorrow’s trillion-dollar demographic. The sooner you can secure their loyalty, the longer-lasting your relationships with them will be.

Then again, there are 80 million of them. It’s a little overwhelming, to say the least. Thankfully, emerging research is starting to identify subsets within the millennial generation. For example:

New analysis from advertising technology firm Turn breaks the nation’s largest living generation into four distinct groups for marketers. It’s no longer enough to simply market to millennials. You have to market to the right millennials for your brand.

Our spatial analysts spend a lot of time segmenting and dissecting the needs, wants and habits of all kinds of millennials, from young adults in their early 20s to suburban couples reaching their mid-30s.

Here are the habits of three subgroups of millennials in the U.S. based on eSite analysts’ day-to-day reviews of millions of millennials in hundreds of thousands of locations:

Champagne Tastes & Six Pack Budgets

1. Champagne tastes and six-pack budgets

This sector of the millennial population has a big appetite for the latest trends and fashions—although you won’t see them in upscale boutiques. They’re loyal to discount stores and clearance racks and shop online regularly. The one area where they do invest in full-price items is electronics. For this group, staying connected to the world around them requires the latest and greatest tech gadgets. Even without the expenses of childrearing, there’s not a lot of discretionary cash left over for saving and investing.

  • Key differentiators: White, single and college-educated in search of better-paying jobs
  • Income: $35-50,000
  • Location: Second-tier cities across America
  • Reach them through: Mobile display and Internet radio advertising
  • Don’t waste your marketing budget on: Cold calls, direct mail, traditional radio or print ads

2. Urban sophisticates

You’ll recognize this class of millennials when they show up for dinner or drinks toting a gym bag and briefcase. They’re financially savvy and actively planning for retirement—but that doesn’t mean they don’t love to get out and explore the nation’s most expensive cities. This subset tends to avoid mainstream retailers in favor of boutiques with local flavor, and they’re bound to ignore most traditional advertising in favor of personalized recommendations and referrals. And while they do spend a lot of time on social media, this segment isn’t nearly as fond of online shopping as other millennial groups are.

  • Key differentiators: Unmarried, college-educated singles with well-paying jobs
  • Income: $50-75,000
  • Location: Fun-and-funky neighborhoods in the nation’s big cities
  • Reach them through: Email, Internet radio, broadcast TV and organic social media marketing
  • Don’t waste your marketing budget on: Newspaper ads

3. Status-seeking suburbanites

These millennials are on the fast track to bigger paychecks and better job titles at their decent-paying jobs in sales and technology. Dual income households mean they can afford first homes in new subdivisions of sprawling mid-sized cities. A decent portion of discretionary income goes toward athletic activities, nightlife, family-friendly attractions and fast-casual restaurants. They’re big into status symbols but still clip coupons and shop sales to buy the latest and greatest trends—from high-end gaming systems to premium SUVs to designer clothes—at discount prices. They don’t subscribe to daily newspapers and rarely listen to the radio. They rely on the Internet for pretty much everything and are receptive to digital ads.

  • Key differentiators: Married working couples, many with kids and mortgages
  • Income: $100-150,000
  • Location: Suburbs in the South and West
  • Reach them through: Online ads including paid search and sponsored links
  • Don’t waste your marketing budget on: Any kind of traditional advertising

These are just a few of the many types of millennials out there. It just goes to show  how important it is to always be segmenting customers.


Now that you know about these three different types of millennials, how will you change your marketing to reach them?

Unless otherwise noted, all insights are thanks to Mosaic® USA consumer lifestyle segmentation, which powers TrailBlazer. Experian classifies the above subsets of millennials as Digital Dependents, Urban Edge and Fast Track Couples.

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