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Summer 2008
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Xionetic Provides Successful Web Mapping, Direction Services

GIS Drives Retail Sales

Highlights

  • Small company is now able to compete in competitive marketplace.
  • Clients have found new venue for cross-selling and up-selling on Web sites.
  • Service provides unlimited number of maps, routes, and other information without transaction fees.

"If customers can't find you, they can't do business with you. It's that simple." That's the tenet of Xionetic Technologies, Inc., an information systems company based in Bozeman, Montana.

These words of wisdom hit a nerve in the retail industry, where location is almost everything. Companies such as Cinnabon, the North Face, Sanrio, Kohler Co., CAT Scale, and Asics are clients of the small organization from Montana. Xionetic boasts this strong portfolio because its newest GIS software solution, Locator Web, allows its clients to have total control over the look and feel of their mapping solutions, as well as the data displayed. Locator Web is an Internet-hosted solution that maps store or dealer locations and provides driving direction functionality on corporate Web sites.

  click to enlarge
Sanrio, a worldwide designer and distributor of character-branded gifts, uses Locater Web to direct customers to its 4,000 retail locations.

Previous services could only offer a free link to an Internet search engine mapping site, which didn't allow Xionetic much freedom to customize the content and display of the map pages. "As we explained to our clients, they would have no control over what popped up on the map," says Sarah Savage, director of customer service for Xionetic. "A customer could be looking for directions to a store on the map and a competitor's site may pop up, or an ad for a competitor's product. They didn't have any way to manage what their customers saw on that map."

With the advent of Locator Web, Xionetic can provide powerful advertisement-free mapping for its clients. Clients are charged a onetime licensing fee for the use of the software with the option of annual maintenance instead of charging per transaction. The solution gives companies the opportunity to publish an unlimited number of maps, routes, and other services without the overhead of per-use fees or viewing third-party advertisements.

Interactive Mapping Helps Drive Customers to the Right Store

Through an easy-to-deploy, out-of-the-box solution that makes affordable mapping, routing, and driving directions part of any Web site, Esri's RouteMAP Internet Map Server (RouteMAP IMS) software proved just the ticket to power Locator Web's interactive mapping capabilities. Web visitors can find targeted information about a company, such as which products are available at different locations and when stores are open. They can also plan routes to visit the store.

Xionetic's clients have full control over the look and feel of the maps their customers view and print. They are able to use custom symbols, such as specific company colors or logos, for their store or franchisees' unique locations. Organizations can also combine their own data, such as their store locations and hours, logos, and product availability, with the mapping and demographic data included in the GIS software to generate high-quality maps and routing to locations.

The North American data that Xionetic uses to fuel its clients' Web sites is from Tele Atlas/TomTom' Dynamap Transportation and is part of the RouteMAP IMS product offering. The Tele Atlas/TomTom data includes streets in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The datasets support street-level routing, as well as geocoding by address, postal code, and latitude/longitude. This gives organizations many options for creating location points on a map and increases accuracy.

More Than Just a Pretty Map

Besides allowing Web visitors to find locations and get directions, Locator Web creates statistical reports based on visitor information, such as where the clients themselves are located, what they are looking for, and information about what pages they visit on the company Web site. Using this information, Xionetic's clients have new opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell on their Web sites, increasing revenue per customer.

Great Harvest Bread Company, headquartered in Dillon, Montana, is one of many companies that has found success using this GIS software solution. With more than 200 franchise locations in 42 states and plans to continue opening new stores, the company wanted to find a way to provide customers with information on how to get to their bakeries.

Using Locator Web, Great Harvest Bread Company provides address and driving directions to new bakery locations as well as gathers other valuable data, such as which locations its customers are looking for and where they are coming from. This information helps the growing company answer important questions about how effective its advertising is and if customers are looking for and finding new locations. The data gathered can even assist in investigating whether new locations need to be added to the franchise list.

More Information

For more information, contact Sarah Savage, Xionetic Technologies (e-mail: sarah.savage@xionetic.com).

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