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The future of Commercial Real Estate: Using mobility data to understand visitor behaviour

Written by Danijela Jurjevic ·

What is the future of Commercial Real Estate? Who is visiting shopping centres these days and what is the purpose of their visit? According to Knight Frank Global property market insight for 2022, a lot of European markets are forecasted to be the largest sources of cross-border capital in 2022, dominated by investment managers, institutions, and private equity investors. But the question is, where will these investments go and how do the investors make those decisions?

Changing the game with “Visitor Insights”

A couple of weeks ago, Geoblink announced the release of its latest product feature that grants visibility on who is visiting any given location, where are those visitors coming from, where do they live and work and how they behave during their visit. The functionality, called “Visitor Insights”, was developed to help retailers and real estate companies analyse any area, including the surroundings of their assets and their competitors stores, especially when it comes to commercial areas like shopping centres and retail parks. 

This feature provides Geoblink’s clients with the information they need to understand their real catchment areas, the detailed profiles of their visitors and how they interact with them during their visits. It also helps them understand what their marketing campaign reach should be, how the competitors are cannibalising their business and how their visitors have evolved compared to 3 months, 6 months or one year ago.

By applying big data techniques & technologies and advanced analytics, Geoblink transforms completely anonymised GPS data into visitor mobility patterns and profiles with a high degree of granularity, providing dynamic insights updated every single week including information down to hour level.

Why is monitoring visitor behaviour so important?

Have you ever wondered:

  • What is the purpose of my customers’ visit? (work, shopping…)
  • How have the visits evolved over time (compared to 6 months ago, last year, etc.)?
  • Has my catchment area changed?
  • Did changes in consumer behaviour due to the COVID crisis affect my business?
  • Which stores of my network are being cannibalised?
  • Which competitor brands are the visitors of my stores also visiting?
  • What should my marketing campaign reach be?

Well, we have all these answers and more.

Geoblink’s insights show how often those potential customers visit an area and how long they stay in it, which helps retailers and real estate players better understand their behaviour and use that knowledge to acquire new assets, optimise store formats, product mix definition, opening hours and staff management

How are competitors affecting my business in the area?

Retailers are always thinking of different ways they can maximise their sales and stay ahead of the competition. Visitor Insights focuses exactly on this, providing insights on how the catchment areas are changing due to the competition in the area.

They can analyse the profile of their competitors’ customers and their preferred brands. This allows them to strategically plan new openings next to these brands to capture the same customers. Also, when analysing their locations, they can easily understand from which stores of their network they would cannibalise visits, which competitor brands are the visitors visiting, and the purpose of their visit.

The future of shopping centres

According to the latest analysis done by Kearney, the future of commercial real estate will be customer-centric, which sounds very logical at first, but it actually means much more than opting for the “typical no brainer” tenant mix such as popular fashion stores and fast food restaurants. Commercial areas have been adapting more and more over the last few years, so now we have retail parks more known as “shopping towns” and spaces with padel courses and post offices alongside other more “traditional” stores.

Understanding the demographics of the population surrounding these (and potential new) areas is not enough – it’s important to monitor visitor behaviour at these locations. Retailers and shopping centre directors need to understand if the daily, weekly and monthly visits are decreasing or increasing. They need to understand the profile of the visitor to see if they are a good fit or if they have to optimise the tenant mix by adding other brands preferred by the visitors.

The future of the commercial real estate landscape lies in monitoring visitor behaviour and anticipating demand and trends. These trends will allow you to plan ahead. So, if you want to stop guessing who your visitors are and what they like, click on the button below and we’ll show you how!

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