The Role of Data in the Retail Industry

In a recent interview by Simon Fonteyn, the Founder of Leaseinfo and Executive Director of FLNT, with Russell Zimmerman, former head of the Australian Retailers Association, the role of data in the retail industry was explored.

According to Russell, the retail industry is becoming increasingly data-driven, and it’s essential for retailers to have access to the right information to make informed decisions.

“Modern retailers are facing a deluge of data, which can become overwhelming,” said Russell. However, he emphasised that it’s important to analyse and understand which data is essential to keep front of mind.

To help retailers make better real estate decisions, he stressed the significance of using data platforms that seamlessly inform real estate decision processes for retail.

One of these platforms was Leaseinfo, which provides data for shopping centres, high street retail and fuel stations, to help retailers determine if they are paying more than they should or if they have a good deal, and to compare themselves to other retailers within their category.

Another platform mentioned was Accurait, which enables retailers to download their current leases and mine the data for important information such as relocation clauses, market reviews, CPI increases, and make good clauses.

When it comes to other data analytics, he mentioned that some retailers are in fact using traffic data and credit card data to make better real estate decisions. But there are still many retailers not actively analysing key datasets as part of their business strategy, like the flow of traffic around a shopping centre or retail strip and how that affects the site, for example.

“In the future, retailers need to look at their own customer data and analyse their spending habits to understand how they can increase sales and retain their customers,” he said.

According to Russell, there are many important data points that retailers need to keep an eye on, such as the cost of banking and merchant fees, insurance, credit card fees, and electricity costs. He said that these costs are rapidly increasing, and retailers need to understand what they are paying for.

“Retail leasing is a data to decision business, and having the right data and decision tools can make a big difference in the success of a retailer. Retailers need to keep up with the latest technology and data platforms to make informed decisions about their real estate,” said Russell.

It was advised to retailers’ that by understanding own customer data and the costs associated with running their business, is critical to smart business decisions.

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