Excerpt taken from Australian Financial Review Article (5 December 2018):
The threat of Amazon and online retailing has taken a while to change traditional mall owners’ appreciation of shoppers, but with the Lowy family selling out of Westfield earlier this year, landlords are taking the threat more seriously and are now scrambling to adopt the latest technologies to ensure they keep hold of their retail customers.
Norbit managing director Gerry Mezzina has created an app that tracks shoppers’ spending habits in a way that tips the power back into landlords’ hands.
“There is a lot of talk about Amazon. Everyone says Amazon has done so well because they are online, but they win because they know their customer – they have been tracking their customers since 1996 and the big landlords haven’t,” he said.
“I think the market – the shopping centre landlords – are a bit behind in terms of where the customers want to spend money.”
And tracking customers is exactly what the Norbit app does for landlords.
The shopping centre landlord pays to rent the white label app at a low cost and then gives the app its own name – such as that of the shopping centre. It then encourages shoppers to download it with the incentive of discounts and points. As the shoppers use the discounts and chase the points, they are tracked.
In most shopping centres these days landlords don’t get access to details about shoppers because such details (if any) are usually held by the shops – the retailers who rent from the landlords.