How do most of us make decisions? Ideally, our choices are rooted in experience, evidence, and recommendation. Gut feeling and intuition have roles to play, but when it comes to our business, colleagues and customers, strategic decisions should be informed by two things: evidence and data.

If we settle on data models that are too general, potentially inaccurate, or historic, it can be disastrous for businesses and their consumers. Inaccurate data means a lack of credibility and unreliable metrics, and in the case of a data provider partner – it won’t aid the ability to provide ongoing support (something Huq takes pride in). In data, reliability is paramount.

Understanding consumer movement trends, habits and behaviour is essential for any business, whether that’s in retail or real estate. When it comes to commercial planning, store site management or investing, knowing where your customers are and where they’re going is crucial – and we get this from verified, real time data, and consumer behaviour insights.

Perhaps the most frustrating recent high street loss for consumers and staff alike was the demise of the UK brand, Wilko.

Wilko worked because customers entered with an idea of what they wanted, but it was essentially a browse-and-buy destination. In the end, as accurate location insights go some way to evidence, many store locations didn’t lend themselves to this pace of shopping – residing in areas that were not generating the density or passing footfall traffic to make this approach sustainable across the Wilko estate.

Interestingly, Austin Cooke, managing director of the Poundland franchise which has opened 64 shops on former Wilko sites claims of “amazing” trade and has spoken of the “positivity on the high street”. So how might this be?

Arguably, Poundland has a different purpose on the high street, with more ‘destination’ shoppers going instore for the cheaper brand options on everyday household items (from self-care, to core cleaning, to food and confectionary – but all at more competitive price points than leading supermarkets). This is where harnessing location data such as footfall, catchment and density trends, might have made a difference to site selection and management – matched by carefully observing real-time consumer behaviour insights.

Where one business falters, another has the potential to fight on – but it has to be informed by reliable location-based intelligence.

Huq’s model: vertical integration in data solutions

There are four elements which prop up our vertical integration model. To paraphrase Daft Punk, we make things easier, faster, smarter, and well… better.

Easier – our data granularity and accuracy mean more detailed and reliable datasets, taking the complex and making it available as standard. We make thing simple on the front end (doing the heavy lifting behind the scenes).

Faster – near real-time data processing and delivery lets you make decisions based on what’s happening now, not yesterday.

Smarter – We like to contrast how data differs across regions and locations through our global coverage for benchmarking. We collect, process, and deliver across international markets so you can see what’s happening where you are. By taking a this approach, we can take a clear-eyed view of how the local is performing – and offer unique, informed, and smarter insights.

Better – we use first party, verified data, and are transparent and fully accountable in terms of where we get this. For us, trust is essential, after all our customers rely on this information to make better decisions.

For example, using Huq data, JD Sports has revolutionised their site location strategy, enabling them to expand and increase profits following a downturn in 2022 as they grappled with post-covid recovery. “I don’t approve new stores unless they are planned after consulting Huq’s data”. Regis Schultz, JD Sports’ CEO.

Huq provides universal data

Huq operates globally across 28 countries – providing coverage beneficial for companies operating internationally, and those seeking to expand their operations. We are absolutely committed to complying with data privacy regulations wherever we operate in the world.

There is universality in how we collect, process and present data, irrespective of where we operate. This ‘universal data’ makes it easier to use across multiple locations and is always consistent and reliable.

First-party data collection benefits

We exclusively collect first-party data – principally from smart phone data. Alongside benefits including greater accuracy and higher density, first party data collection allows us to ensure absolute compliance with privacy legislation, wherever we operate – especially in the EU.

Meanwhile, our direct relationships with app publishers allows Huq to maintain influence over the individual consent processes within their apps. The verified data collected is limited to device information. We do not collect any personally identifiable information – and never will.

These app partnerships also involve requirements – at our request – that strict privacy measures are in place, and that are subject to regular privacy audits. At a minimum we require provision of clear, intelligible disclosures and consent requests to app users. This effort is aided by strict Google Play and Apple App Store regulation.

A fresh start for some

A new year always brings new promise and possibilities – especially as we have one eye on the next financial year. 2024 could be the time for investing in the right approach to lift up the proverbial bonnet, kick the tyres, and harness the power of Huq’s cutting-edge data technology into your business to drive decision making. Believe us, it’s better than relying on your gut – particularly immediately after the festive season.






Annual sales

Huq’s catchment insights allows JD to more accurately assess the impact of the wider retail catchment on the sales potential of new store opportunities

Alastair Browne, JD Group Head of Site Research & Strategic Insight

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