New technology is creating an even more lucrative landscape for retailers and retail property investors. Learn how the impact of these new technologies may make retail a more profitable enterprise, while bolstering rewards for investors.
Smarter Location Selection
Smarter vehicle and pedestrian traffic tools, like Mark Cuban's Motionloft, are helping developers, investors and retailers pick the most intelligent locations. This technology turns the physical world around us into digital data that can be used to empower retailers into making informed site selection decisions based on traffic volume and customer behavior.
Motionloft, in conjunction with beacons, big data, smart signs, new phone and car technology allows the retail property owner to make decisions based on insight, and thus optimizing build-out and advertising costs.
The End of the Retail Clerk
According to The Globe and Mail, the days of the retail clerk are over, and "These jobs will all but disappear within 20 years, perhaps sooner." Some people may have already noticed retail clerk roles being replaced by robots, so this may not be surprising; however, for the retail property owner this is good news that adds to the bottom line. Using robots to complete tasks can lower financial risk and improve the efficiency and profitability for retailers, and as such, the retail property owner.
One would believe with more and more job openings there will be other jobs, and perhaps better ones for those clerks who may find themselves out of a job temporarily. Especially for the clerks who are quick to re-skill themselves in the areas where there is job demand and growth.
Smart cars, self-driving cars, and automated parking garages all help change the dynamics of visiting local shopping plazas. It means less need for traditional parking spaces, which have far too long taken up large percentages of the most prime commercial real estate spaces. As this technology grows, retail property owners will be able to generate far more income on the land they own.
The recent flap about Facebook and its smart ads that may have influenced voters is just the tip of the iceberg. This is really not new news. Small businesses have been using this technology for years, and the premise has been a staple of branding and advertising for decades. Consumers still refuse to acknowledge its influence and manipulation, while savvy retailers are using it to serve consumers better and dominate mind-space with targeted messaging. Those who harness it best definitely enjoy more ability to control their own sales and prices.
One of the biggest risks of this new tech age is also the one factor that works in favor of physical retail as well. Cyber hacks, companies and banks are being held ransom, and identity theft are becoming more common. This is only likely to increase as well. It is also going to influence and force many consumers to rely more heavily on local retailers and live service providers than just online banking or shopping.
While some new technology may be uncomfortable to begin with, and will certainly have its issues, it appears to be all good news for retail. The positive retail property performance can strengthen your portfolio, plus as retailers become more profitable, so does the retail property owners and their investors. The financial rewards expected as new technology becomes the norm, could be positive news for retail property owners.