Defining Catchment Areas: 4 Questions Retailers Need to Ask
Whether you're a bricks-and-mortar retailer, an omnichannel or an e-commerce business looking to open a physical outlet, identifying your catchment area is essential. So what is a catchment area? It's a geographic area from which a business attracts a population that uses its services. In other words, the area that "catches" your existing or prospective customers. A catchment area can be refined based on several different factors. For instance, it can be based on distances or travel times from sales outlets to target customer locations or on key demographic characteristics such as household type, age, gender or socio-economic background.
Bombarded with so much information, more and more retailers are now looking for an easy solution that will help them mark out the right catchment area. Thankfully, the days of trying to make sense of impenetrable facts and figures in Excel spreadsheets are gone. For retailers, location intelligence is the new paradigm. The CleverMaps platform is a decision-support tool that visualises your catchment area using easy-to-read maps. Not only does it define the catchment area for your existing stores, but it also forecasts the ideal regions of interest for your up-and-coming outlets. So how can retail professionals get the most out of their catchment areas? We've come up with four helpful questions:
1. Who are your customers, and where do they come from?
We've learned that your business catchment area should ideally be populated by consumers who will purchase your products. Most retailers obtain their customers' details and addresses from data collected through loyalty programmes or from their transaction databases, including online/e-shop orders and in-store purchases. Thanks to map visualisation, you can view the distribution of these addresses at different levels of granularity within your catchment area and get a better understanding of what types of customers you are attracting.