Optimising data and technologies to reinvent the retail space

10 min
07 June 2022
At Stockland, we not only understand the importance of keeping pace with retail’s rapid evolution, we strive to be ahead of it. As such, we are deploying a multitude of strategies and programs to optimise our retail business and that of our retail partners – ensuring joint sustainable development.

Reinventing retail and the future of data-driven AI

Stockland continually optimises our retailer performance throughout our town centres. Retail is driven by consumer requirements, and to understand those requirements we need data. With that in mind, we have been developing sophisticated proprietary artificial Intelligence (AI) machine-learning to optimise our retail model.

Jenny Van Der Voort Van Zyp says her team has been working hard at evolving data insights which will ultimately benefit Stockland retailers with an increased likelihood of foot traffic and sales.

“One of our proprietary segmentation tools profiles customers beyond mere demographics to understand more-deeply how they behave and why,” says Jenny.

“Examining what product category shoppers most-engage with. How often they come to centre, how long they stay, what time of day they come. It is a very rich behavioural segmentation which then allows you to make predictions with consistent, insightful outcomes.

“You could have two 39-year-old mothers in the same age demographic who have completely different profiles and therefore shop very differently. Getting a deeper understanding really helps us action moments of truth along the customer journey to identify commercial opportunities.

“Our customer segmentation model is leading our decision-making and aligning our key marketing initiatives and strategies to high-value customer segments. This responds to the needs, wants and aspirations in relation to our key customer touchpoints.

“It's about understanding how you're going to move the needle and not trying to be everything to everyone but focusing on our most valuable customers and creating experiences and retail offers that will drive higher wallet-share.”

Stockland Artificial Intelligence ensuring retail success

Another area Stockland is using AI is through a tenant recommendation engine, a data-led leasing program which virtually models the retail mix to predict the best outcomes for our retail town centres.

“We are really leveraging different data sets and employing geospatial machine-learning over a lot of historical data in order to learn how different shops perform in their relevant locations and how their performance can optimise the whole centre using advanced applied analytics techniques,” says Jenny.

“Part of it is about understanding how customers cross-shop with other brands. Customers have quite a lot of overlap with other stores in different categories and that’s valuable information for our tenants. It can help with strategically positioning stores within our town centres to drive more traffic and, ultimately, sales.

“Historically, whenever we had a vacancy or a precinct that we wanted to re-mix, our leasing experts would use a lot of their knowledge and expertise.

“Now this is supplemented with our AI solution that looks at not just predicting sales and rent, which are two things that it does very well, but our machine-learning algorithm also produces a third metric, which is overall centre performance. We can now see how a new store is going to impact all the other stores".

Shared ambitions

At Stockland, we aim to sustain long-term growth through our customer centric approach. In the future, digital innovation with our retail partners will be a major driver of our mutually successful relationships.

“The more that we can leverage our data and modelling, the more we can assist our retail partners and enhance their performance,” says Jenny Van Der Voort Van Zyp.

“We understand our retail partners value definitive, evidence-based models of their likely success, presently and ongoing. Our customer data provide our retailers with deep, data-led insights that match the right opportunity for them. Not just as a broad marketing claim but through legitimate, complexly analysed data and modelling. It inspires business confidence in Stockland as a business partner and ensures a sustainable in the future".