Smart City Data Project to improve visitor insight for Bath businesses

By Nick Batten on 5 June, 2019

The Bath Business Improvement District (Bath BID) has launched the Smart City Data Project, an initiative developed to help Bath BID levy payers to get a fuller understanding of visitors to the city centre.

The project will aim to provide insight for businesses about the demographics of the people who visit Bath and what their general spending patterns and movements are around the city.

Bath BID is working with consultancy Movement Strategies who are collating the new information to supplement the footfall and sales data that the Bath BID already receives.

Collected data is provided identifying how the city centre is being used by visitors which will help with individual business planning as well as to assess the impact of events and activities in the city.

The trend information is helpful in planning marketing for businesses and organisations such as Bath BID who use the information to understand the city’s performance and support Bath to be resilient in the face of a changing high street environment.

Some of the headlines from the first quarter of the project (Jan-Mar 2019) include:

• Nearly 20% of visitors are over 65 years
• An estimated £450m in total was spent in-store during those three months in BA1/BA2 postcodes
• Food & retail categories accounted for 75% of spend
• Visitors with a higher spending power visited Bath much less during January, but returned in February and March
• Residents living within 10km of the city centre accounted for 40% of the footfall and 59% of spend in the city
• BA1/BA2 residents spent an estimated £420m online in total in the first quarter of the year
• Social media sentiment towards Bath was overwhelmingly positive at 97%

Allison Herbert, Chief Executive Officer of Bath BID, said, “We are delighted to be at the forefront of providing visitor insights for our business members in Bath. We look forward to sharing the results of the information gathering with our partners and business colleagues and hope this new project will form the basis of a new and improved understanding of the city which will bring success to Bath organisations and benefit Bath’s high street.”

Simon Babes, Managing Director of Movement Strategies, added, “Bath is the first city to explore how this approach can help generate the insights to help better inform decision making, whilst also measuring the performance of the high street in a smarter way.”