AWS for Industries

How to Build Winning Consumer Market Development Strategies with Data from Foursquare and AWS Data Exchange

Consumer brands operate in an ever-changing world. Over 600k businesses open each year in the US alone, and nearly as many close. Surviving as a consumer brand in this highly competitive and evolving industry requires ever-more innovative strategies when creating a market development strategy. And success requires thorough analyses of the prospective market.

Location data and technology can provide consumer industries, such as travel and hospitality or retail, with rich insights into their target markets and neighborhoods. They can also help profile customers more accurately in order to enable businesses to select the locations with the greatest potential.

The Power of Point-of-Interest and Foot-traffic Data

Applications for location technology across consumer industries are extensive—from audience segmentation to advertising campaign effectiveness metrics, CRM enrichment, and more. However, for travel and hospitality and retail brands aiming to expand their market footprint and delight customers, point-of-interest (POI) data and foot-traffic (FT) data must be the foundation of their location strategy.

Foursquare, the leading independent location data and technology platform, provides both POI and FT data to AWS users via the AWS Data Exchange. These data points originate from:

  • Foursquare Places: The largest independent POI data set, with over 100 million global venues across 200+ countries and territories, fielded by 100k unique sources and 3 billion individual references, and updated continuously.
  • Foursquare Visits: The highest-quality FT data available today. In 2020 alone, Foursquare Visits logged 1.3 billion visits, 5.2 million visitors, and 4.5 million unique venues.

Using Location Data for Strategic Decision-making

Location data is a powerful resource for retailers of all kinds, as it provides a detailed view of cities, towns, and regions without needing to send a dedicated team to investigate locations. Here are the three main steps to strategically utilizing location data.

1. Provide Detailed Industry and Competition Overviews

Consumer brands can utilize POI data to understand what venue types already exist in the target or prospective neighborhoods in order to determine if the area is right for their businesses. For example, if you’re an athleisure boutique, POI data can answer relevant questions, such as, “Are there health food stores, yoga studios, and other venues in that area that support the lifestyle of your target consumers?”

POI can also be analyzed to better understand the overall trade area by enabling you to discover new store openings, store closures, increased competition, and more. Detailed analysis can help determine whether the area is already saturated with competitors. Then, layer POI insights with FT data in order to analyze competitors’ locations, and better gauge how successful those businesses are and whether there is room in the market for yours.

Foursquare’s Places data also provides popularity scores for each venue. Foursquare’s first-party, consumer-review data generates these scores, which help retailers and travel and hospitality brands understand the relative popularity of locations across various categories.

For example, Yum! Brands accessed Places data via the AWS Data Exchange in order to make smarter foreign market site selections. By utilizing Places POI data, Yum! Brands reduced the discovery, validation, and investment time in new locations.

To learn more about how Yum! Brands utilizes location data from Foursquare to make smarter decisions, watch this on-demand webinar.

2. Enrich Your Target Consumer Profile

Consumer brands also utilize location data to derive and analyze insights that enrich their target consumer profile. For example, by examining FT behaviors within the target age demographic, business leaders can discover the types of shops that these buyers frequent, which neighborhoods they spend time in, and more.

Another POI and FT data use is to suggest links between lifestyles and neighborhoods that tell powerful stories about communities. Some neighborhoods may house larger numbers of people with similar visitation patterns, while shifts in the venue types opening and closing in those areas can also indicate neighborhood evolutions. For example, the opening of a cycling studio may indicate the opening of future healthy lifestyle venues nearby.

New Frontier Data, a cannabis data company, recently utilized Foursquare’s location data via AWS Data Exchange in order to better understand the customer types visiting recreational cannabis retailers, thereby enhancing their analytics and targeting capabilities. Foursquare provided location-based audience segments for CRM enrichment, as well as FT data tied to commercial venues. New Frontier blended the data sets in order to understand FT patterns between dispensaries and top chains in the US. This solution let the company better identify consumers most likely to visit cannabis dispensaries. This also augmented 9M+ CRM records, and improved their marketing efforts to draw in the right customers.

In another example, Condé Nast Traveler utilize Foursquare in order to add more accuracy, freshness, and context to their venue detail pages simply and efficiently. They rely on Foursquare’s database of more than 100M places for up-to-date information on addresses, hours, and phone numbers of specific venues in order to help them enrich the end-user experience. This data provides readers with access to highly localized, in-depth information regarding travel destinations prior to arrival. Now, Condé Nast Traveler app users can easily identify if a destination has features like outdoor seating, Wi-Fi, or live music before planning their trip.

3. Understand How Your Consumers Move through the World

In the face of COVID-19 and economic recovery, consumer behaviors are rapidly changing. Consequently, it’s more difficult for retailers to accurately forecast inventory and staffing needs, let alone predict where the next booming shopping district will be. Location data, in particular FT data, can help retailers gather near-real-time insights into their target consumers’ interests, shopping preferences and behaviors, and more.

Foursquare Visits data helps you examine where your target market consumers are going, which stores they frequent, and where new shopping activity pockets are emerging. Moreover, you can utilize a combination of POI and FT data in order to track activity at competitor locations that will inform your future needs. For example, understanding which days of the week are most popular for shoppers in a particular neighborhood can help determine how much staff you’ll need on a certain day, or what hours of operation you should adopt.

For another example, Foursquare’s data showed an enormous increase in FT to home improvement and outdoor supply stores throughout the pandemic. This was when other brick-and-mortar stores were struggling. If armed with such insights, then stores could more accurately predict what their inventory needs will be, all while people are actively practicing social distancing and other precautionary measures.

Access the Location Data You Need

Foursquare’s POI and FT data can be procured via the AWS Data Exchange, thereby enabling seamless discovery, delivery, and billing experiences. Companies that access Foursquare data via the AWS Data Exchange interact with a cloud-native solution bringing data closer to their existing tools and analytics.

Customers who subscribe to Foursquare data in AWS Data Exchange can also automate ingestion to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). This makes the data instantly available to customers’ engineering teams in the cloud—no custom coding is required. Once data is brought into Amazon S3, customers can easily blend Foursquare data sets with owned first-party data and integrate with downstream AWS applications, such as Amazon SageMaker, Amazon Neptune, and Amazon QuickSight. Discover available data sets via the AWS Marketplace, or connect with the Foursquare team in order to discuss custom datasets that meet your needs.

If you have questions about applying location data to complex consumer industry challenges, request a demo from Foursquare today or contact your AWS account team.

AWS Partner Spotlight

foursquare_blog_awsFoursquare holds the AWS Travel & Hospitality Competency Partner designation and provides AWS-vetted cloud technology capabilities and proven customer success in the industry.

Foursquare has made its enterprise data products available for purchase on the AWS Data Exchange.

With 100M+ points of interest sourced globally, Foursquare’s Places data solutions provide map-building, search, and discovery features for global travel and hospitality brands.

Foursquare on AWS Marketplace | Contact Foursquare

Marina Novikova

Marina Novikova

As a Partner Solution Architect at AWS, Marina Novikova works on the technical co-enablement of AWS ISV Partners in the DevOps and Data and Analytics segments to enrich partner solutions and solve complex challenges for AWS customers.

Lea Purcell

Lea Purcell

As VP of Business Development, Lea Purcell is responsible for managing the partnerships that drive the distribution and commercialization of Foursquare's enterprise products.