How to Avoid the Biggest Pitfall and Choose the Next Site Right

Selecting the right site is crucial to Franchise and Retail Business success.

A poor location is one of the biggest reasons a restaurant or retail shop fails. Although franchise businesses and retail groups spend thousands, if not millions of dollars on site selection analysis, the customer experience of local businesses is usually left unnoticed.

The Status Quo of Market Mapping

The most common method of this research is to plot all complementary and competing outlets over a map and look for the location with the least competitors and most complementary outlets.

The analysis is known as Market Mapping, and many geospatial analytics companies offer this one-off consultancy service. It is not surprising that the service comes with a huge price tag, usually starting at $10k.

The missed opportunities

What is missing in the analysis is identifying the under-served area: A competitor may have a physical presence at a town centre, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the customers are satisfied with their products or services. So the opportunity of converting unhappy customers into one’s loyal customers is always neglected.

Customer satisfaction is reflected in the rating and the number of reviews of local businesses, this is an insight that is truly valuable for a new player to join the local game.

However, aggregating individual businesses’ reviews & ratings in an area is a painful process and work. The insight may become irrelevant, if the potential site is off the market before completing the study, or a new site is available and more appealing.

A potential solution

At Urbern, we believe this is a problem worth solving, and we’ve built a prototype for early testing. The prototype currently calculates location ratings that reflect the multiple aspects of lifestyle convenience, such as shopping, dining and transit.

When a supermarket chain is looking for a site, it prefers sites that come with high dining and low shopping ratings, this means the area has many complimentary outlets and happy customers, fewer competing outlets and less happy customers.

For example, if the site is located at 288 Oxford St, Paddington, NSW, then it may be worth conducting further discovery for opening a supermarket.

288 Oxford St Paddington scores 6.41 out of 10 overall, 6.77 out of 10 from Shopping, and 8.65 out of 10 from Dining
288 Oxford St Paddington scores 6.41 out of 10 overall, 6.77 out of 10 from Shopping, and 8.65 out of 10 from Dining

The true potential of the approach lies within the cost-saving. Without engaging a consultant and going through the debrief, the early-stage discovery could be done in 8 seconds, and it only requires an address as the input.

We have validated the concept with one of the largest beverage franchise businesses in Australia, and they are looking to integrate the insight generated from the prototype into their current site selection workflow.

It’s built for you

We believe small restaurant and shop owners should be treated equally as the bigger players, so we made our patented model scalable, affordable and mobile-friendly.

The model works not only for franchise business and retail groups, it also serves individual restauranteurs and retail owners for the exact same purpose.

If you would like to give the prototype a test run, please visit App Store or Google Play via the links below:

We believe this will help de-risk your site selection activity and build the foundation for your next successful business. If you would like to know more about the progress we made, please book a session with Eddy via the link below:

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