Real Estate

The Importance Of Digital Technology Applied To Shopping Centres Development And Management

<p style="text-align: justify;">The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the shopping Centre market very hard. Prolonged closures have significantly reduced shopping Centre&rsquo;s turnover, and almost all Landlords have had to grant significant rent discounts. Not to mention that the overall flow of customers had practically halved.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In Europe, mass vaccination campaigns are bringing down the covid-19 lethality rate, and as early as June 2021, there has been an upturn in the mall market, flows have picked up again, and the gap with the pre-covid period is not so significant.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">However, consumer habits have changed significantly, and there is a situation of uncertainty regarding the logic that guides customers' flow and purchasing behaviours.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Can we find valid answers? What will the Landlords have to do to implement adequate management strategies and "anchor" the best brands/tenants in their malls?</p><p style="text-align: justify;">For years, I have been studying high-tech tools (mainly digital) applicable to developing and managing networks/commercial properties.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">I focused on two needs:</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>A - Analyze the catchment areas of shopping Centres using reliable and objective methods to understand with absolute certainty:</strong></p><ol style="text-align: justify;"><li>Where customers come from</li><li>How much time do they spend in a specific shopping Centre?</li><li>How loyal customers are, and how much time do they spend in competitors' shopping Centres</li><li>What is the demographic and sociological profile of the customers who visit the shopping Centres?</li></ol><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>B - Having a digital platform that uses e-commerce logic to increase footfall in the physical shop and thus in the shopping Centre. </strong></p><ol style="text-align: justify;" start="5"><li>What is the return on marketing strategies applied to shopping Centre management - is there a proportional return on a significant investment in customer visits and spending?</li><li>How can I create marketing strategies dedicated to strengthening the relationship with the shopping Centre tenants to increase their turnover?</li></ol><p style="text-align: justify;">In particular, what is mentioned in point 6 is, in my view, a topic of fundamental importance.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The more mature the shopping Centre market, the more critical, if not dominant, the weight of brand tenants becomes.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Only appropriate digital tools can provide objective discussion elements for Landlords when requests for rent decrease or a discussion for the rents is renewal.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">My research focused on two products that I found exceptional and precisely gave the answers I was looking for:</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The first product applying digital technology to the study of customer flows and profiling (in full compliance with privacy regulations - GDPR) is developed by Placense ( and MyTraffic (</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Both provide reliable answers. I found Placense "retail-focused"; very helpful for those who want to develop new commercial formats or, conversely, for retailers who need to decide how to rationalize their network of shops in the post-covid era.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Concerning digital tools that give accurate answers to marketing strategies applied to shopping Centre management, I have identified the device Emplate (, developed by a Danish company.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">This product enables developing a platform where all the tools usually used (websites, socials, apps) are finally linked together.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">But the most surprising thing is the ease with which the Centre manager can involve the shopping Centres brands in commercial strategies, usually preserving the e-commerce channel.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">It gives customers a way of shopping in the physical shop but using the now acquired habits of online shopping.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">What I have described is, in my opinion, the future in the shopping Centre segment. Whoever is the first to use them will put the right decisions and strategies to bring their commercial properties back when this challenging period is over.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Francesco Della Cioppa

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