Last week wrapped an exciting and innovative week at the Big Show in New York City, NY. With 33,000 in attendance from all over the globe, the Javits Center was packed with some of the brightest minds in retail.

We exhibited in two booth locations this year - in our booth, and as a partner with Esri in their booth, where we talked location technology and demonstrated how our retail solutions leverage and compliment the Esri platform.

We met with CEO’s, IT Professionals, Marketers and Merchants – and demonstrated how location technology, embedded within our solutions, is helping retailers connect what’s happening in their markets, with what’s happening inside their stores.

During our week at the NRF Big Show 2015, we shared, collaborated, and consulted with our guests. We heard about different use cases, strategic concepts, and ways location technology was being used inside their organizations. I thought I would share with you the 5 things we heard the most about.

“I’m ready to start using indoor technology”

Indoor AnalyticsIndoor technologies that help retailers better understand, and interact with in-store customers, are now on the mind of almost every retailer. Retailers are looking for indoor data that is actionable - and is helping drive better marketing, merchandising and even site selection. GISi has been a leader in this space for years. We are delivering retailers access to indoor metrics (ie. store and category visits, dwell times, first time vs. repeat visits) as part of their enterprise research through multiple solutions.

“You can use my existing Wi-Fi to collect indoor data?”

Yes! This was a revelation to almost every retailer we spoke to about indoor analytics. Our indoor technologies can leverage your existing in-store Wi-Fi network to passively collect anonymous customer traffic and behavior inside your stores (this was a frequent segue to #1 on this list!).

“I need help with market planning”

Market PlanningNew store site selection, relocation analysis, square footage optimization, sales forecasting & cannibalization – all critical when optimizing markets, and maximizing growth potential. I heard frustration about outdated methodologies and solutions either currently being used, or simply, a lack of any sophisticated market planning solution. These conversations helped support why GISi SmartSite Pro, which delivers innovative location technology - paired with modern retail modeling, is gaining such attention.

“My franchise network would love that!”

Location technology is designed to leverage the same data and modeling capabilities that you would use when researching corporate owned stores. Our experience with some of the largest corporate franchise operations in the world has provided us with a unique perspective, and set of solutions built specifically to serve franchisee networks. Things like scoring new trade areas, providing analog analyses, and working with companies to enable them to compare their financial data with anonymous aggregate peer store data is helping franchisees make their businesses more efficient and profitable. A win-win for the franchise partnership as it helps convert single-unit franchisees into multi-unit franchisees.

“This would be great for the ________ department”

There are no shortage of tools, solutions and programs on the market aimed at helping improve the various activities involved in the retail life cycle. However, asSmartSite Pro location technology has begun to overlap traditional Business Intelligence (BI) tools (and in a lot of cases become preferred) the field is less crowded with expertise. Our philosophy when designing and building retail solutions is that they support the enterprise and not live on an “island” within the organization. The Real Estate department has an entirely different day-to-day workflow then the Marketing or Merchandising departments, but there is no denying that each of these areas can be more successful if they work together. We help break down those research silo’s – and we heard as much from our retail guests!

If you would like to learn more about GISi SmartSite Pro, or other GISi services, please contact us.