Mapping competitor retail locations

Companies that have retail networks will often want to map the locations of their competitors' stores. Doing this kind of competitor analysis requires two things. First, a list of the retail locations and secondly, a way of mapping them.

Finding a list of competitor locations

There are two main sources of retail locations. First, the competitor will probably list them on their website. Often, that is not in a way that can be easily extracted without writing some code, which is beyond the skills of most competitive intelligence analysts. 'Store locators' are another starting point, but searching by zip code, and being shown 10-20 locations per zip code is a very fragmented way to build a comprehensive database of locations. 

A much quicker way can be to buy a ready-made list, for example from Aggdata. While a great shortcut, these lists can be incomplete or out of date, so need careful checking. They may be better at providing 'impressionist' analysis than truly specific detail. For example, they may be useful for answering questions like 'does Moneygram have better coverage in US West or US East?".

Mapping the competitor locations

Once the list of competitor locations has been built or acquired, the next step is to map these locations. Again, this could be done by writing a short routine, but that takes coding skills. Instead, most analysts will be better off using a tool like BatchGeo, which takes a bulk list of addresses and maps them to Google Maps.

BatchGeo does a good job of mapping locations, including grouping by specified type, for example showing Best Buy Mobile stores vs Best Buy regular stores.