NewMark Merrill: Harness Retail Data to Improve Customer Experience, Streamline Operations

by Sarah Daniels

Sandy Sigal argues that the evolving fields of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are a perfect fit for retail. “We generate the most relevant data on an everyday basis, and that data affects the outcomes and success of our centers,” explains Sigal. In a discussion on the pivotal role of technology in the retail sector, Sigal emphasizes that understanding customer behavior is paramount for shopping center owners. By leveraging technology to track customer movement and sentiment — where they come from, how long they stay, how they feel about their experiences — retailers can gain invaluable insights that complement existing data.

Sigal says that technology, when used effectively, frees up staff to focus on enhancing customer engagement and experience. He stresses that shopping centers must avoid becoming commodities; instead, they must highlight unique attributes that differentiate them from competitors. By evolving continually, retail centers can remain relevant and appealing to customers.

Sigal outlines key data points that NewMark Merrill prioritizes:

  • Customer flow per square foot: This metric helps assess the center’s competitiveness.
  • Length of stay: Longer stays typically indicate a positive customer experience.
  • Cross-shopping behavior: Identifying whether customers visit multiple stores within the center.
  • Customer loyalty: Tracking repeat visitors to gauge satisfaction and engagement.

Looking to the future, Sigal predicts that AI will bridge the gap between the convenience of online shopping and the experiential benefits of in-store browsing. Technologies like augmented reality could soon allow customers to see personalized sales and recommendations in real-time as they navigate stores. This integration of AI with the data already available via retail offers opportunities to foster greater customer satisfaction.

Watch the interview to learn how NewMark Merrill is incorporating the data points above into their technology-centric approaches to streamlining and improving retail.

This video was created as part of the Retail Insight newsletter by Shopping Center Business, a brief newsletter series leading up to the ICSC LAS VEGAS 2024 conference and including post-conference video interviews. The videos in the publication are created in conjunction with our content partners, which sponsor the newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

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