Heat Maps: Using Delivery Data to Understand Your Market

Posted by Elizabeth Kelly

Elizabeth was the Marketing Specialist for SpeedLine Solutions from 2017 to 2021. As the previous Managing Editor for the On Point Blog, she ensured our audiences got the restaurant and delivery technology information and news that we're known for.

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How much do you know about your delivery area and customers? What neighborhoods order most frequently? Which menu items are most popular?

Delivery restaurants have an advantage over other restaurant concepts: a ton of customer data that can help you define and target effective marketing promotions. To order for delivery, your customers need to supply three main pieces of information: their address, name, and order. If customers order online, chances are you also have their phone number and email address.  

With the help of the right POS, this information gives you insight into your customers, delivery  trends, and marketing initiatives.


Understanding Heat Maps

A heat map is is graphical view of your POS data overlaid on a map of your trade area, where values are represented as colors. In a sales heatmap, more popular results are displayed as "red" areas. So, when looking at all orders delivered to your delivery area in the past month, the red areas would be the areas that ordered most. The deeper the red, the more orders.

It’s an easy way to quickly see where your deliveries are going—and where you may want to target a mailer or flyer drop.


Watch for Changes in Delivery Trends

Is one neighborhood suddenly ordering less? You could have a high number of delivery problems for that area, such as late orders. Or, competitors could be winning over your customers in that neighborhood.

Offering delivery in heavily-populated area with lots of traffic? Food delivery by bike or scooter can shave vital minutes off of each order while reducing your carbon footprint.

To help you analyze your results, take advantage of local demographic information provided by your municipality, the US Census Bureau, or StatsCan. Look for population increases in the area, new developments, rezoning, or new subdivisions.

By noticing more business developing in one area you can plan targeted marketing campaigns, or even monitor the area for a new location for your chain.


Design and Monitor Marketing Campaigns

Whether you are designing a coupon campaign or deciding which little league team to sponsor, having the right information to help you target your marketing strategies is invaluable. Many studies have proven that it’s easier and more profitable to increase sales to existing customers than to try to attract new customers. A heat map of your most profitable delivery areas will help you decide where best to target your local marketing campaigns and avoid common marketing restaurant mistakes.

Once a doorhanger, flyer or coupon campaign has been sent out, heat maps can be used to monitor effectiveness. In the targeted area, are sales increasing? Is average dollar spend increasing?


Manage Delivery Performance

You can use the same heat map tools to look at delivery times or late delivery stats. Often the visual can make it easier to identify a problem with a particular driver, or a delivery zone that may need adjustment.

Keeping on top of delivery trends will help you better understand your customer base and your delivery service overall. And that new understanding can help you build stronger relationships, improve performance, and increase business.


Download the Guide - More Profitable Delivery: A 30-Day Plan


Posted on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 @ 09:03 AM.
Updated on February 28, 2023 @ 6:14 PM PST.

Tags: Heat Maps, LiveMaps, Restaurant Delivery

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