The SEE PropTech Conference 2021 took place on 4.11.2011 as a Hybrid event and it was organised by PropTech Bulgaria. Event gathered together a large list of leading specialists from the international property technology space. HyperIn had the honor to host the retail track.

Hannu Käki , VP Business Development, participated in the discussion covering trendy topics from the retail real estate industry. Here's what were the highlights of the day.

The experience economy and the link to digital: how does it happen?

Initially it all starts with the tenant-mix of grocery, fashion, restaurants and entertainment. Secondly, engaging tenants for marketing actions: organizing events, bigger campaigns and individuals offers. Thirdly, communicating this conveniently for the consumers across different core channels such as websites, digital signage and mobile loyalty applications.

When interacting with consumers there are 3 drivers:
user experience, value experienced, and richness.

A good user experience can be spotted on how smooth and intuitive everything is. Besides of core channels mentioned previously, one step further in this is e-commerce features as part of the digital consumer path.

Value experienced is the additional benefits that the consumers can achieve. To name few, special offers and parking benefits.

Richness can be achieved, for example, by adding gamification and augmented reality elements for consumers to interact with. We have seen different interesting examples in this category and, there is much more to follow we believe.

How do you see the mingling of the online & offline world in retail, tracking the full sales process?

At HyperIn we define the general theme as: Connecting the digital and physical customer journey.

This covers the both tenants as customers and even more importantly consumers as customers. The customer journey for the consumers starts already a much before they enter the retail destination. There is a lot of digital transaction involved - reaching out to visitors and trying to create the attention of consumers. As a target to eventually convert them to visit the shopping destination.

Most shopping centers have a visitor-counters tool, and often you find tenants themselves having their visitor-counters tracking methods. On top of this, the use of mobile tracking is booming. And thirdly, the interaction of digital signage touch screens can be measured as part of the customer journey.

Eventually, all this ends up being very complicated. There is a lot of data already available, and there are constantly more solutions coming to market.

Therefore it is very important for the landlords to have reliable partners like HyperIn which can enable all the parts of the customer  management journey.

In this role we usually have a central entity that helps the landlords to understand and execute better what they are looking for and see the different opportunities to solve any pains and needs.

How tech and non-tech is being mixed in your opinion?

One way to approach this in the retail environment is from the marketing perspective. Digital marketing budgets have been increasing exponentially within the past years. At the same time property owners have still been relatively slow in adapting themselves to PropTech specific solutions.

In the shopping center business environment there can be many core processes which can be rather traditional and manual.  Consecutively and together with marketing agencies there has been investments being made into digital transformation.

Trusting purely on digital marketing agencies can cover a worst case scenario as well.

The landlord is not developing any internal capabilities to understand and manage the connected digital and physical customer journey. In the long run this can be problematic to them.

What are the most efficient approaches you see which overcome the operational hurdles that mall centers, retail chains, brand operators encounter as a result from the pandemic restrictions?

In this question I am again referring to our core theme. Connecting the digital and physical customer journey. It is important to enable the shopping center management to engage the tenants to communicate with consumers - together.

There are lot of gains to achieve. Smooth and successful campaigns have already proved to work within the past months - increasing the footfall and even resulting higher sales than pre-pandemic.

Also, everything on the background has to be solid. For example:
- shopping center intranet
- tenant communications
- sales and other KPI reporting
- tenant self-service tools for participating the campaigns

Another result we have realized is that the tenant engagement and satisfaction rates have been recently improving. As we all know that one year ago this was totally opposite. So, these kind signals are very promising for the whole international retail real estate industry.

Author:

Hannu Käki
VP, Business Development at HyperIn

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