by Lauren Grieco
Consumers expect and deserve a seamless omnichannel experience. Shoppers may visit centers in person and later go on to make purchases online, or they may do research online and later shop at brick-and-mortar locations. Landlords of commercial real estate destinations are tasked with delivering the best experience for visitors to their shopping centers. In order to create the best experience, all stakeholders – including landlords, tenants, and service providers – have to collaborate with each other in the best way possible. Individual stores contribute to their brand’s overall success, which means visitors might see products at a shopping center or while passing by windows on a shopping street and later purchase them online.
The Role of Landlords
Landlords play an important role in the omnichannel experience by tailoring the center’s tenant mix to the consumers visiting their centers. That is why it is important for landlords – as well as tenants – to strive to truly understand what their consumers want by making their visitors the foundation of their long-term growth strategies.
“A visitor who is going to a shopping destination wants to have a positive overall experience at that destination,” says Sander Verseput, Co-Founder, COO, and CFO of Chainels. “A landlord can ensure such an experience by means of an attractive mix of brands at the center as well as by making sure the center is clean and safe.” Together with Erwin Buckers, Verseput founded Chainels – a property management portal and community platform that enhances communication between all stakeholders. “Our platform can help ensure that better decisions are made since it can gather and combine data, such as store performance, footfall insight, events, and, looking toward the future, more data regarding the customer profile, spending patterns, and ESG,” adds Verseput.
While gathering data about visitors – such as footfall and dwell times – is not a new topic, Chainels’ all-in-one digital solution presents such data to landlords and enables them to make informed decisions regarding tenant mix and distribution within their centers in order to increase their tenants’ success. In addition to footfall, there are more trends emerging, including the gathering of transaction insight to analyze payment patterns. Loyalty programs via an app give shoppers discounts in exchange for the tracking of their payment patterns and the provision of their transaction data to landlords.
Chainels enables landlords to make use of such data and decide what information is visible to which stakeholders. “Landlords want to analyze the insight they gain about the people visiting their centers, then optimize the whole mix of tenants,” says Chainels Co-Founder and CEO Buckers. His platform aims to bring all of that data together. “Landlords can find interrelationships between shopper payment patterns, a center’s catchment area and footfall insight, as well as tenant survey responses and turnover reports,” he adds. “While most landlords chose to keep those insights internal, there can be organizational benefits when landlords share the data with their tenants.”
Multi Corporation, one of Europe’s leading commercial asset management companies, strives to be more data driven. Elmar Schoonbrood, co-CEO of Multi Corporation states: “Technology provides the opportunity to ensure the tenants of our assets under management enjoy a seamless experience, and to be more effective in our daily operations.” Therefore, Multi has recently selected Chainels as their partner to implement best-in-class technology for the company. As an example, through data collection such as air quality and utilities usage, the company can improve operational workflows to better monitor its sustainability footprint. Further, the tool allows the company to better integrate consumer behavioral data into its decision-making processes, as well as feeding that data back to the tenants so they can improve their product offering. According to Multi Corporation’s co-CEO Steven Poelman, the organization aims to “gain relevant data insights from our end-visitors and Chainels plays a role in making sure that the right data is accessible to the right person that can act upon these insights.” Co-CEO Elmar Schoonbrood continues: “We can make better investment decisions by having a closer look at the correlation between tenants.”
With the broader perspective of the entire center’s visitors, and not just the perspective of a single store, landlords can oversee the general trends of the visitors who frequent their centers and, most importantly, how they chose to spend their money. If landlords choose to take on the responsibility of educating their tenants, they can ensure that the end consumers have the best possible experience.