Published by ICSC Commerce + Communities Today. Link to full article HERE
Retailers have been adept at digital marketing for some time, but landlords only now are seeing its value. “Creating direct digital relationships with consumers instead of leaving that to retailers, as in the past, is a big change,” said Peter Tonstad, CEO of Placewise, which provides technology solutions to both retailers and shopping center owners.
“Despite what you call them, loyalty, affinity or rewards programs are essential to connecting with shoppers,” he said. “With more competition, lease terms getting shorter and pop-up stores becoming more commonplace, this is mission critical. Relationships create opportunities for personalization, better engagement, increased customer retention visits and sales. Retailers already know this, that’s why most have been investing in loyalty and customer data platforms for the last decade. What happens when the retailer leaves? Landlords are realizing it’s time to catch up.”
E-commerce “marketplaces” are also a relatively new offering for landlords, while retailers have provided them for the past 20 years. A recent new layer is click-and-collect, said Tonstad. “Only a few centers around the world offer a full omnichannel experience to their shoppers and tenants. We know from a consumer survey we did a couple years ago that 86% of shoppers want the option, but it will take mass adoption by the industry for shopping center e-commerce marketplaces to reach their full financial potential. It’s a bit of a Catch-22 situation at the moment, but we strongly believe that’s where shopping is headed,” he said.