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Precise Geofencing Improves Retail Business With Analysis of Shoppers’ Behavior Inside Malls and on the Streets

A unique geofencing solution provided by a custom software development company, Intetics, helped a UK SaaS company improve the accuracy of their retail marketing analytics and forecasting by 18% in a short period of time.

Implementations of Geofencing

GIS (geographic information systems), whose main functionality lies in integrating various types of data with virtual maps, over recent years have been actively implemented in different areas, ranging from public safety and government to real estate and pet care.

One of the most common uses of it is for geofencing technology, which emerged from the combination of GIS with location tracking. Among other uses, geofencing instruments have brought tangible improvements to the profitability of retail businesses, both online and offline. It turned out to be well suited for both analyzing customer behavior and maximizing the conversion of targeted ads. Thanks to that, geofencing became one of the technologies that made possible the emergence of a new field: location-based marketing.

Offline retailers often utilize GIS to complement a map with virtual boundaries (geofences) around the selected objects, marking their stores or shopping areas. Location detection techniques, usually based on GPS, cellular network and sometimes Wi-Fi, make it possible to monitor the potential customer’s movement through these zones. Data on their movements can then be used to determine suitable timing for sending instant notifications to their devices, which can lead them to the target actions. 

Geofencing and Customer Behavior Analytics 

Apart from the instant mobile notifications, geofencing makes it possible to analyze the patterns in which people are moving through shopping areas and the ways they interact with the objects there. Such analysis provides valuable insights for advertisement targeting, developing new retailing strategies, and correcting the existing ones.

For these reasons, an award-winning company from the UK specializing in software services for various fields, including finance, real estate, and retail, sought r a geofencing solution to apply in new customer behavior analytics services. The target users of the new services would be offline retail businesses, namely shopping malls and shopping streets. The analytics platform they were going to launch required precise spatial data on the boundaries of various physical stores with specific attributes. 

However, spatial analytics was not the main area of specialization for the company focusing on software as a service. Obtaining and analyzing the above-mentioned data, which is impossible to purchase or license, would have required additional professional resources. This need became a starting point for a collaboration with an international software development company, Intetics.

Execution of the Geofencing Project

At the beginning of the project, Intetics formed an Offshore Dedicated Team (ODT) consisting of 8 experts. The team’s main task was to meticulously mark the boundaries of various shopping areas on a map, utilizing QGIS and PostGIS software.

QGIS or Quantum GIS, an open-source geographic information system, is currently widely implemented in various institutions, both private and public. Its main functionality lies in composing and exporting geographical maps, as well as adding and managing spatial information. PostGIS, also open-source software, provides support for geographic objects in a database management system called PostgreSQL.

The data for the project was collected across different areas in Europe, North America, and the Middle East. In total, boundaries of more than 60,000 geographical objects were added to the virtual maps. ODT dealt with the tasks at a fast pace and top-notch quality. At the same time, the UK company worked on an analytics tool, which helped them to discover valuable insights using the data collected by our engineers. 

From the very beginning of the project, a set of customers had been using the prototype of the solution. Constant feedback from them allowed Intetics engineers to quickly make all the necessary improvements. Only six months after the project started, the beta version of a product was launched, which was faster than originally expected.

Project Results 

The results of the Intetics engineers’ work were integrated into the software complex, meeting all the expected product requirements. The UK company put a new analytics platform into action. The final solution, which emerged over the course of the collaboration, was unique and added a new vision into analyzing the way people in malls and shopping streets move and interact with each other. 

The company’s CTO noted the importance of the data collection: “Thanks to the Intetics team’s expertise, the accuracy of analytics and forecasting was increased by 18%. Proper data collection allowed us to reach an accuracy even higher than the planned level.” Now, the predictable monthly outputs from the new analytics platform are expected to make scaling for the new markets faster and easier.

Find out more and download the Case Study