Ninth Decimal Quantifies CV-19’s Local Business Impact

Over the past three weeks, we’ve examined data on local-commerce foot traffic patterns — specifically in light of shifting behavior due to quarantining and other measures around the spread of Covid-19.  In a related effort, NinthDecimal has put its location intelligence platform to work.

This creates a sort of public service announcement by volunteering the capabilities of its core technology that tracks large-scale opted-in mobile devices. This is normally done for O2O attribution and marketing insights, but here provides timely and telling insights on pandemic-related shifts in local commerce.

In total, this includes two reports the company has shared with Localogy. One is for New York City specifically, given the concentration of affected entities there. The other pans back to cover the entire U.S. and collective shifts in foot traffic in several regions, covering 1/20/2020 – 4/5/2020.

So what did the data uncover? The biggest shifts (positively and negatively) not surprisingly lie with grocery stores, big box stores, shopping malls, quick service restaurants (QSR), casual dining restaurants (CDR), movie theaters, automotive and national airports.

Drilling down one level:

— On April 2nd, the U.S. suffered the highest daily fatalities (1,169 within 24 hours) of any country reported. With most Americans staying at home, discretionary activities such as going to a movie or walking around shopping malls diminished.

— As essential businesses, grocery stores and big box stores had implemented crowd control and limited store hours to reinforce social distancing. While these changes contributed to the overall decrease in foot traffic, the rate of decline seemed to slow down in the most recent week. However, it is too early to call it the ”new normal”.

— Under most of the stay-at-home orders, restaurants were operating only on take-out or delivery. While the foot traffic to QSR remained stable in the most recent week (3/23-4/5), foot traffic to CDR continued to decline as they were less-equipped for takeout orders.

— As non-essential travels plummeted, foot traffic to national airports decreased by 89% from the week of 1/20.

— Visitations to auto dealerships decreased by 76% from the week of 1/20 and is expected to continue until the situation is under control and
consumer confidence returns. 

For a deeper dive into the particulars in each business category, here are the charts. We’ll continue to keep a close eye on further data releases as location intelligence firms like Ninth Decimal volunteer their platforms for these informational purposes. Meanwhile download both NYC and U.S. reports here.

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