Big Data’s Big Role

By on Feb 25, 2020 in Technology

Developing financially successful shopping centres has become a significant challenge in the face of major threats to the traditional retail business model. The retail experience is shifting from a point of sale to an immersive experience; instead of endless rows of shops, the modern retail centre features restaurants, cafés, movie theatres and a variety of personal services.

Ralf Kuntschke, regional manager Germany at Yardi Systems GmbH

In response, many retail operators are implementing emerging innovative technologies that can strengthen their static trade and thus compliment and compete with e-commerce.

A successful strategy for attracting customers to retail centres arises from first analysing and understanding regional trends including demographic shifts, culture and politics. Utilising that data and understanding it is key to determining a successful revenue generating tenant mix. Centre size and location, along with other factors, will determine the degree to which new technology can and should be implemented.

One business-critical element, however, stands at the centre of every successful strategy—data. Retail asset managers and investors are discovering the benefits that business-wide technology platforms provide. Instant access to sales, leasing, prospect information and much more has surpassed both timeliness and the hassle of consolidating data from multiple disparate systems. Furthermore, merchants are keeping pace with a mobile-enabled consumer base by adopting mobile payment and shopping capabilities, and they expect no less as they interact with their retail landlords. Such technology can help retailer centre owners and operators reduce costs, drive revenue streams and increase asset value.

Data’s key role

Thanks to technological progress, the retail sector is now able to define persuasive offers with the help of big data.

Because the retail sector generates more data per month than many other vertical real estate markets, simple tools and tables for gaining valuable insights into retail businesses and trends have become obsolete.

Advanced, but easy to use, integrated technologies have emerged which enable retailers to visualise floor plans for retail properties. Portals enable the easy exchange of sales data from retailers directly into the management and accounting platform and configurable, personalised dashboards draw from the centralised data source to deliver relevant, role-specific analysis. Additionally, the mobility that is delivered by cloud-based solutions not only empowers companies to host data in a single, secure database, it delivers real-time access to these business-critical process while on-the-go.

These capabilities comprise a seamless framework for analysing real-time data in a way that produces solid retail strategies.

The significance of big data in retail—and the possibility of transforming this information into quickly accessible, meaningful and precise metrics—should not be underestimated. Big data can help shopping centre managers satisfy the needs of shopping centre visitors, retailers and investors in ways that e-commerce can’t.

Analysing data, anticipating changing customer needs and aligning it with a specific asset and investment strategy drives a sustainable, successful retail real estate.