What is Catchment Area Analysis?

Customer Location Heat Maps

How can your location data help you maximize revenue, gain a distinct competitive edge, and make more profitable decisions?

Catchment area analysis capitalizes on your location data to help you understand where your customers come from, how they behave, and how to place locations for optimal results. Winning businesses know this: the right location is not just an advantage, it’s an advantage your competition can’t replicate.

Learn how to leverage your best assets, your customers, into an impenetrable edge with catchment area analysis—and how enterprise-level software solutions like Maptive make that process seamless.

What is Catchment Area Analysis?

Catchment area analysis, sometimes referred to as trade area analysis, is the process of using location data to understand where your customers come from and how to place locations for maximum mutual benefit.

While used by businesses to grow revenue, catchment area analysis’ combination of efficiency, depth, and data visualization make it a common practice of cities, governments, and public health and safety institutions, too.

Catchment area analysis visualizes your location and sales data to help you compare your locations with each other, your competitors, and your customer behavior.

What Does “Catchment Area” Mean?

Originally used to measure rainfall, a catchment area is a measurement of a geographical area’s population density and traffic. Unlike catchment zones, which are fixed boundaries, catchment areas change with a location’s performance.

What are the Benefits of Catchment Area Analysis?

Catchment area analysis can have a profound impact on your business. By discovering the immense value hidden in your location data, you gain many major benefits, including:

  • Precise understanding of where your customers are located.
  • Powerful data on business performance for each of your locations.
  • Streamlined competitor analysis.
  • Revealed market penetration opportunities.
  • Improved decision-making, including key information for opening and closing locations.
  • Visualized customer behavior data.
  • Deeper marketing, targeting, and coverage insights.

How to Identify a Catchment Area

Catchment areas are defined by the datasets you use: your sales, location, customer, competitor, market data, and more each provide a layer of dimension and accuracy to your results.

Maptive makes it a breeze to calculate catchment areas. Simply upload your Excel Spreadsheets or Google Sheets to transform your massive data into an intuitive and beautiful custom Google Map.

And with rich features like the Filter Tool, you can navigate layers-upon-layers of actionable data to uncover your most impactful insights and discover hidden opportunities. Start your free trial today, no credit card is required.

However, catchment data analysis is most effective when complemented with trade area analysis, which focuses on quantifying your customer’s behavior and movement to help you make more informed decisions.

How to Conduct Trade Area Analysis

Understand how—and how long it takes for—your customers to reach your locations, predict foot traffic volumes, and increase accessibility, with drivetime/walk time analysis. This analysis, which uses GIS data to measure how easy it is for your customers to reach your location, is among the best resources available when determining the location of new stores.

Looking for even deeper insights? Pair your customer demographics—made easy with Maptive’s Demographics/US Census Mapping Tool—with mobility pattern data to learn how your customers behave at a deep and detailed level.

Maptive integrates these abilities for you, teaming industry-leading proprietary features up with the reliability and real-time data of Google Maps API—eliminating the need for additional software.

How Do You Do Catchment Area Analysis?

Catchment area analysis involves several steps, from compiling data to executing big decisions. And while the process is involved, the results are very well worth it. Furthermore, software like Maptive simplifies much of the process, so you can reap the rewards faster.

  1. Identify Your Specific Goal: While capable of informing any location-relation business decision, catchment areas serve you best when aligned to a business goal. Are you looking to penetrate new markets? Opening a new store? Or do you need to consolidate and close underperforming stores?
  2. Compile Your Data: Your direction is in the data. Create the most accurate and informative catchment areas with comprehensive, clean, and detailed data. You can use anything relevant from addresses and purchase history via customer loyalty cards to US Census/Demographic data, available through Maptive.
  3. Upload Your Data to a Mapping Software: Maps are the most efficient, comprehensive, and easy-to-read visualization for virtually every business decision. In fact, catchment area analysis requires it. For fast, seamless uploading, use Maptive.
  4. Conduct Your Analysis: Analyze store-by-store customer behavior, discover prime saturation locations, compare performance between your locations and your competitors, and more. Maptive’s rich suite of features—particularly the Pie Chart Clusters & Markers, Drive Time Polygon, Heat Mapping, and Location Finder Tools—are ideal for catchment area analysis.
  5. Share Your Results: With easy and secure online sharing, poster size printing, satellite image mapping, and full customization, Maptive is tailor-made for sharing your analysis with your organization—and laying the groundwork for business growth.
  6. Execute Your Decision: Make key decisions with confidence. Successful catchment area analysis, powered by excellent GIS mapping software like Maptive, gives you the comprehensive data to make informed choices and the undeniable visualization to win your stakeholder’s approval.

Conclusion: Conduct Catchment Area Analysis to Grow Your Business Smarter

Catchment area analysis is one of the smartest, most efficient, and most complete means to making intelligent location-driven business decisions.

Unlocking the power of your location, sales, and customer data through data visualization, catchment area analysis maps a real-time picture of your organization’s health—while highlighting exactly where you need to be to win customers and beat your competition.

Understand where your customers are, how they move, behave, and shop, and how you can optimize your locations to generate revenue and increase profitability. The benefits are clear:

  • Transform massive amounts of spreadsheet data into actionable insights and analysis.
  • Compare your locations internally and with your competition with the click of a button.
  • Make better-informed decisions faster.
  • Learn precisely how your customers behave and navigate their neighborhoods.
  • Discover high-potential locations for new stores.
  • Identify underperforming stores and get the data you need to make changes.

Start Mapping Today

If you’re an organization ready to make data-backed, informed, and impactful decisions about your locations, sign up for your free, no risk, 10 day trial of Maptive today. With the features and ease-of-use you need—and the immediate results and hands-on support you want—Maptive makes growing your business with catchment area analysis effortless.

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