Retail

Geotracking Gives Brick-And-Mortar A Leg Up On eCommerce

With decreasing sales at brick-and-mortar stores, declining foot traffic and closing storefronts for retail chains, shopping mall owners are using new technology to help turn things around.

According to news from CNBC on Wednesday (Dec. 6), real estate and investment management services firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) will implement a Pinpoint shopper monitoring system — created in collaboration with Atlanta-based location insights and analytics firm Alexander Babbage — that geotracks customers.

The technology is important because “consumers behave very differently today than they did even three years ago,” according to Greg Maloney, CEO and president of JLL’s retail business.

Geotracking follows real-time traffic patterns in malls, learning where customers go, how long they stay there and where they go next through data pulled when a “location-aware” smartphone or other data-enabled device enters the “geofence.” The information gleaned from the technology will help shopping mall management firms and landlords pick the best tenants to attract customers.

It could also help retailers place offers and marketing in high-traffic areas throughout the establishment and encourage consumer spending.

“We can’t rely on archaic methods to remain competitive in the digital age,” Maloney said. “The key to geofencing is to garner the most accurate and statistically sound data and then translate it into actionable insights. We’ve run our test pilot program on several centers and each time it has blown away the demographics found in radius and mileage rings.”

According to Alan McKeon, CEO of Alexander Babbage, Pinpoint and geotracking technology allow the retail industry to learn more about real shoppers instead of guesstimating about theoretical ones. That information can be used to help brick-and-mortar retailers get a leg up in the fight against eCommerce.

Geofencing will likely be widespread in 2018, comprising a nearly $40 billion industry by 2019. It was approximately $8 billion in 2014, according to research company Markets and Markets. Firms like clothing retailer American Eagle Outfitters and quick service restaurant Taco Bell have also used the Pinpoint technology.

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