“From a marketer’s perspective, from a retail or restaurant perspective, there is this great reset where you have an opportunity to actually grab market share that you’ve never had before,” Foursquare CEO David Shim said of how the coronavirus pandemic has created a level playing field in which reopening businesses stand to gain on competitors at a fraction of what it might typically cost.
During our local intelligence session of Live with Search Engine Land, Shim and PlaceIQ CEO Duncan McCall discussed what Shim refers to as “the great reset,” in which consumers are navigating between their pre-COVID routines, shopping behavior changes due to quarantine, markets reopening and the economic impacts the pandemic has had during this period. As lockdown measures loosen, location data can help businesses understand how audiences are adapting and enable them to market to customers that are ready to buy.
“You’ve never had this reset in terms of consumerism in the physical world,” Shim said, adding that the pent-up demand due to non-essential business closures has customers flocking to store locations at up to 80% of pre-COVID levels in some areas. “Consumers want to consume in the physical world, and the fact that they don’t have any kind of learned behaviors, that their muscle memory has to be rebuilt when it comes to consumption [means] you need to get in front of these folks, because if you wait too long . . . the number two, the number three, the number four player in the space has an incredible opportunity grab market share,” he added.
On the other hand, “reopening is different than reemergence,” McCall said, noting that states lifting restrictions does not necessarily equate to customers returning to brick and mortar shops. When consumers reenter the market is partially determined by their individual circumstances: the population density of their area, whether they live alone, personal preferences and priorities; “If you add all that up . . . it really does show the power of location to, on a day-by-day basis, help understand what is really happening on the ground,” McCall said, with reference to how location data can be used to segment these audiences for marketing purposes.
Why we care. Consumers are reemerging to a different retail landscape than they were accustomed to before the pandemic: their working conditions and commutes may have changed, the stores they’re used to frequenting may no longer be in business and they may be looking to express pent-up demand. Location data is one resource that can help brick and mortar businesses identify which audiences are reemerging and market to them as they form new, post-pandemic habits.
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