Big Data and Retail

By on Jul 14, 2016 in News

Advances in technology are giving the retail prMartinGoperty sector a helping hand to define compelling offerings through the use of big data.

Developing financially successful retail centres is challenging. In fact, it’s widely regarded that real estate companies, invested in retail assets, are among the leading pioneers of strategic real estate management.

Successful strategies are born out of understanding the best approach to engage shoppers with the right tenant mix to suit regional trends as demographics change and are impacted by regional economic, cultural and political circumstances.

Adapting a retail offering and providing new ways of engaging retailers and consumers while delivering services that enhance relationships, drive down costs and deliver value for owners are undoubtedly key. However, at the very heart of any successful strategy is one, mission-critical element – data.

With the retail sector generating more data in a single month than many other vertical real estate markets, the use of simple tools and spreadsheets is redundant as firms struggle to gain valuable insights into retail operations and trends.

Business technology is undoubtedly a major driver. Helping provide a solid, error-free foundation to house data is one thing, but the power comes from delivering a seamless, real-time framework that enables employees to analyse the data in such a way to deliver sound retail strategies.

In an industry that is so invested in defining compelling offerings through the use of data, has the technology sector risen to the challenge?

The most successful retail real estate companies are now embracing the latest technology to support their strategies and the leading software providers are raising the bar. Cloud-based offerings now enable companies to host their data in a single secure database, providing a risk-free environment that delivers real-time access to strategy-shaping analysis to desktops and mobile devices.

Fully integrated solutions provide retailers with visualisation of retail floor plans, as well as portals through sales data, and additional tenant services are fed directly into the centre manager’s software platform. Configurable, personal screens, pull from this single source of data to deliver important, role-specific analytics, as soon as they log into the system.

The importance of big data in the retail space cannot be underestimated, nor can the shaping of that information into quickly accessible, meaningful, accurate metrics.

The centralisation of data undoubtedly allows retail real estate managers to unleash new found power within property data, but by embracing solutions that go beyond simply that means they are geared to deliver a highly competitive offering in a highly challenging space.

Martin Gedny is Yardi’s Marketing Manager for Europe and the Middle East. This piece originally appeared in the UK-based RetailWeek under the headline “How Big Data is Impacting Retail Real Estate.” Reprinted with permission.