How can the optimum locations for shops and businesses be identified in order to make a district more dynamic and appealing?
Small shops and businesses are the backbone of local life and community cohesion. In a city, such a lively commercial environment is critical both in terms of employment and appeal. However, setting up a shop or business represents a real challenge. Currently, over a third of businesses close within three years and the reason for such failures is often a poor location. What is required, therefore, is better support for small businesses choosing a location so that they can find the best site for their particular business.
The PNB Paribas Group and the City of Paris, whose role is to provide traders with support in establishing successful businesses, have joined forces with the startup MyTraffic, which specialises in football data and location strategies for points of sale. The aim of the challenge is to use data linked to consumption patterns in a district to develop a decision support tool for traders, to allow them to select a location for their business more effectively, based on relevant and reliable indicators. The experimentation was therefore intended in the first instance to confirm that looking for a new location is indeed a protracted and difficult process for businesses, for whom there is currently no appropriate support. The aim was then to ascertain whether the choice of location was a key factor in the success of a shop or business. Once business owners’ requirements had been confirmed, the experimentation defined criteria both for locations based on intended activity, and for the data analysis required to integrate these indicators into an online search service.
MyTraffic, the first Big Data platform designed for commercial property stakeholders (franchises, traders, commercial property agents, estate agents, municipalities, etc.) offers an innovative online interface aggregating all the key data (pedestrian foo all or traffic flow patterns, demographics, the commercial and tourist environment, etc.) in order to provide support with identifying locations for shops and businesses or managing the performance of a point-of-sale network. Approximately one hundred commercial clients in France, including Intermarché, Subway, Club Med, Histoire d’Or, 5-A-Sec, and BChef have already endorsed MyTraffic.
The challenge provided an opportunity to develop a simple online search module prototype for shops and businesses looking for a new location. The search is based on approximately a dozen criteria: proximity of certain retail brands, facilities, places of interest, public transport, the socio-economic profile of target customers, etc. The results can be viewed on a dashboard as a heatmap reflecting the potential of a zone within the area covered by the search parameters – the 19th arrondissement of Paris, in this instance.