Our first annual Sustainability Report, detailing 2023 performance, is now available. View Here

Our 2023 Sustainability Report is now available. View Here

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How Tango Helps Retailers Optimize Store Layouts at Scale

Your store layouts directly impact performance and brand perception, shaping how consumers feel about your locations, as well as what they buy, how much they spend, and how they engage with your facilities’ features and services. So optimizing your store layout is crucial.

But it can also be overwhelmingly complex.

While there are plenty of general layout optimization principles that can guide your design decisions, you have to learn what works for your stores and your customers. Your unique brand, facilities, and trade area characteristics can completely change how general principles apply to your specific circumstances.

Because consumer behaviors change over time, and numerous variables impact store performance, layout optimization is an ongoing scientific process that requires continual analysis. You can’t afford to take a cookie-cutter approach that treats each location the same. If you broadly (and incorrectly) apply what you learn from a single store to your entire portfolio, you can wind up doing more harm than good. You also need the ability to track and understand store performance before, during, and after your optimization efforts, so you don’t attribute success to the wrong factors.

As you learn more about what ideal layouts look like for your business, you have to find the most relevant opportunities to implement them in your portfolio.

That’s where most retailers struggle with optimization, and it’s one of the key areas where Tango can help. Let’s take a look at how Tango’s suite of data partners and store lifecycle management tools empower you to optimize your store layouts at scale.

Find the best stores to test layout changes on

When selecting candidates for testing a new layout, you’ll want to consider what a successful test would mean for your portfolio. Say you have 10,000 locations. A store that shares most characteristics with 1,000+ locations is probably going to be a better candidate for testing than one that only shares characteristics with 100 locations. It’s simply going to represent a greater opportunity for optimization.

But ultimately, the best stores to test depends on what you’re testing.

For example, if you’re testing how much space you should dedicate to third party delivery, curbside pickup, or fulfillment methods like buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), you’ll want to focus on stores in trade areas with the most demand for these services and enough space to minimize disruption to regular operations. A high-volume store that already has parking capacity issues probably isn’t a good fit for dedicated parking spots. And if you’re adding new equipment or services, you’ll want to make sure the demographics surrounding each store have adequate demand for the new category. Similarly, experimental changes to displays and inventory arrangements need to be optimized to the demographics a store serves.

To identify the right stores for your experiments, you need visibility into the characteristics of every site in your portfolio and the trade areas they occupy—which is where retailers turn to Tango’s market planning and site selection software. By combining your internal data (including sales, customer, employee, and facility data) with trusted third party datasets, Tango Predictive Analytics gives you a comprehensive location intelligence hub. You can explore your entire portfolio and holistically compare locations to find prime testing opportunities.

Track store performance before and after layout changes

Your ability to optimize stores at scale directly depends on your ability to see (and isolate) the effects of changes. Tango Predictive Analytics lets you explore performance data over time and see when major changes start and end—giving you convenient visibility into how specific projects impact sales while work is being done, and how long it takes to see improvement after.

And since all of your location intelligence data is in the same place, you can analyze how the timeline of your optimization efforts matches up with changes to the trade area. Have there been significant changes in demand? Perhaps a major point of interest has left, or emerged. Maybe demographics have shifted.

Changes in performance can’t always be attributed to changes to your location, so it’s vital that you have the tools to explore the relationship between sales performance, projects, and external circumstances. A single store can only tell you so much. But when you can easily investigate interactions between particular changes you’ve made, specific changes in circumstances, and store performance across your portfolio, you can be more confident in your conclusions and see these relationships with greater nuance. And in the end, you’ll have a much better idea of how your optimization efforts will play out at similar stores.

Identify relevant locations to replicate your success

Once you’ve validated an idea and successfully optimized a store’s layout, it can be challenging to maximize relevant applications without mistakenly implementing the layout in stores where it’s unlikely to be effective.

This is where Tango’s combination of robust datasets, retail expertise, and machine learning becomes essential.

Many location intelligence platforms simply aren’t sophisticated enough to create true comparisons between locations. They use limited criteria, which can cause your comparisons to overlook relevant variables.

You might, for example, implement disruptive changes to a parking lot that has sufficient capacity on paper but is inhibited by poor accessibility due to a shared ingress and egress in a high traffic location, which could make your optimization efforts detrimental to performance.

Or perhaps your experimental layout’s success was due in part to an all-star management team that fully embraced your vision, got their associates on board, and helped customers navigate the changes. That layout may not work as well at a location with a low-performing manager—does your location intelligence suite incorporate employee reviews and other operational information?

And what if two stores have all the same specifications, but their trade areas look significantly different? Your “optimized layout” may be perfectly suited for the facility, but a poor fit for the demographics that location actually serves.

Tango Predictive Analytics incorporates a wider range of variables to build accurate site models and empower you to create accurate comparisons. When you find a layout that works, Tango helps you find all of the locations where you’re most likely to replicate your success.

Oversee and execute optimization projects at scale

Project management is another aspect of store layout optimization that can be difficult to navigate at scale. While there are plenty of specialized project management solutions, most of them weren’t built for capital program management, where you need to align numerous budgets, timelines, and activities for one overarching initiative.

Your store layout projects often have complex relationships to initiatives, parent programs, and other work, and if you don’t have a simple way to see the big picture and isolate individual projects, it’s hard to keep things on track. Especially if you’re rolling out what is essentially the same project (such as updating signage, for example) across multiple locations.

Tango Projects was specifically designed with capital programs in mind, and it equips you to plan and manage large and small scale projects across your entire portfolio, with dedicated features for rinse-and-repeat projects you’re implementing at multiple locations. you’re implementing at multiple locations.

Optimize your store layouts with Tango

The more locations you have, the more valuable—and complicated—layout optimization becomes. Tango gives your business the insights you need to select the best candidates for optimization, validate your layout ideas, and replicate your success at scale.

Tango Predictive Analytics provides the most reliable, comprehensive location intelligence capabilities on the market, so you won’t miss key variables that affect performance. And Tango Projects helps you stay on top of the seemingly endless stream of projects that comes with portfolio-wide optimization efforts.

Want to see what Tango can do for you?

Request a demo today.

Tango 2023 Sustainability Report

We have released our first Sustainability Report for 2023, marking an important step in our sustainability journey. In the report, we announce our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, setting us apart as a pioneer in the larger ecosystem of real estate technology providers.