Will Foursquare Help Determine the Next McDonald’s Location?
Wall St. Cheat Sheet
A recent report by Fast Company illuminates that your Foursquare check-ins could be helping businesses choose the best locations for their new openings.
There are some good insights in this story. Retailers in the fast food segment have studied demographic data and made quite a science about where to build their stores. This has been very useful when putting stores into locations where there are few competitors in their niche, or at all.
However it a competitive landscape, when the stores are in place and the demographics don’t change much and the competitors arise, you need new information.
Location check ins offer something far more powerful at this point than pretty much any other form of data, because it tells us where people are actually going and when. Check ins come from a variety of sources today, using the GPS in mobile phones. These include Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook and of course Google. In future they may also come from TomTom and other brands of navigation solution, if people share their locations, or by using real time traffic and geofences.
Now it is possible to determine based on actual user data, where people are buying their food and beverages. They can test locations as well as things like promotional success. How can they influence people’s buying decisions at the last minute. What impact does a special, the launch of a new campaign or product product, weather and a variety of other factors, even events, concerts, sport, in a neighborhood have.
Real time location based data is huge. Whilst a lot of people knock check-ins. If I were consulting to McDonalds, KFC, Starbucks or any of the other fast food chains, I would be telling them to encourage check ins big time. They are big data gold.