How to create and maintain momentum to make positive change in retail real estate.

Never has the “real” in real estate held so much potential than today as customers tethered to their tech devices crave the satisfaction gained from authentic human connection, social experiences and physical places.

Retail has moved to change the rules that defined it for a century, and its role in real estate is also being reinvented. With technology – the very thing challenging retail – it is vital to keep momentum and make the positive change to cement its future existence.

Revolution demands that we get real. This does not mean going back to a simpler time or doing a digital detox. The solution is more complex. Ironically, it is tech and specifically social media that are partly driving the experience economy, where a product is the memento of the leisure travel or food moment shared.

To navigate these uncharted waters, it is more important than ever to measure real activities and operations as accurately as you can. If you cannot clearly understand everything from your front lines, you cannot effectively manage retail assets.

Proptech now represents positive change and new opportunities that technologies bring to the retail revolution. It means the ability to identify and harvest relevant knowledge from an ever increasing deluge of data. The realisation that businesses need more clarity about what is happening, both in terms of performance and potential trajectory, has hit home.

Despite awareness about the importance of data, it is still under-utilised in retail environments. The synergetic benefits of multi-use property are enabling asset value growth, but diversification also increases complexity when buying and managing commercial real estate. The need for refined data and strategic visibility is only increasing as properties change.

One of the most common sources of frustration for real estate managers is inefficient information, where insights are limited, inflexible or difficult to extract. Immediate access to correlations between data sets and site-specific analytics are essential for investors, buyers and operators of retail and leisure destinations.

Getting the best performance from these assets requires intelligent methods to not only efficiently collect, but effectively connect data. As a provider of strategic analytics, with in excess of 15,000 users and a broad client base across the UK and Europe, we have seen many developments in the trends and quantity of data available. For the retail industry, using transaction data and traffic data are often the most valuable sources of customer information used to grow sales. But data is everywhere, and the right software solution can incorporate and process new feeds from tenant success levels and marketing activity to weather and energy data.

2019 was the year that sustainability broke into the mainstream and software holds a unique opportunity to contribute to environmental good and compliance. Technology that helps cut costs can reduce environmental waste too. A human-centric approach to technology is also gaining momentum by catering to the needs of individual users, tasks and roles. This improves operations and efficiency and also empowers management teams.

Diverse, disperse retail environments operating with different metrics in different currencies, languages and time zones pose barriers when trying to connect information and effectively measure a portfolio. Technology to process data and connect people can provide the solution; an invaluable foundation to create alignment and momentum, enhancing conversations across the whole retail real estate.

There has rightly been huge desire to deliver a connected customer experience, but it is equally important to expand this concept behind the scenes.

By communicating and sharing live information to create connected stores you engage employees and clients to get the most effective return from strategic plans.

Retail and leisure places have the power to create and maintain successful communities. By connecting partners through a secure digital platform that is intuitive and easily accessible, professionals can strengthen their own community. The right information supports initiatives to drive performance.

Innovation requires ideas, insights and implementation. When you believe the path to positive change is clear, individuals and teams are more likely to contribute innovative ideas.

Based on our experience in intelligence tools and analytics, it is important to consider that not everyone understands information in the same way. A broad toolkit with structured role-focused views for example, helps expand access to intelligence and lets businesses engage with the property they are managing.

Understanding the complete picture, including detail on shortfalls and which areas are excelling through visualisations such as data-rich 3D environments, draws focus to what is making a positive change. Revolutionary retailers and brands are increasingly looking at human needs to attract customers and the right tech solutions should also be what we find real.

As we move forward, we should be regularly asking the question: “What can we do right now to make progress towards positive change?”

Tell us about your project...
Get in touch