Cushman & Wakefield Asset Services (CWAS) provides comprehensive property management services across Canada and ensures maximum, measurable outcomes for all types of real estate investments. CWAS helps its clients minimize operating costs, find efficiencies and enhance the tenant experience.
Like many shopping mall and real estate management companies, Cushman & Wakefield Asset Services needed actionable data about their visitors to provide key inputs that inform leasing, marketing and investment decisions. While the company derives insights from their customer database, which includes category sales data and shopper postal codes, they rely on third-party data to get a holistic view of the consumer and local market opportunities.
Given the hyper-competitive nature of retail real estate, CWAS needed to dive deeper into their markets to ensure they had the right tenants, redevelopment plans, marketing events and media strategy in place to appeal to the most attractive local customers.
To understand their actual shoppers and which products and services they tend to purchase, CWAS turned to MobileScapes, a product from Environics Analytics that uses privacy-compliant mobile movement data. By geo-fencing their properties and competitors’, CWAS was able to capture anonymized, permission-based location data from recent visitors. These were used to determine data-driven trade areas for each mall, understand competitive visitation and develop holistic visitor profiles by overlaying third party data, available at the neighbourhood level.
By linking these data to PRIZM segments, CWAS was able to develop shopper and non-shopper target groups for each property. Detailed profiles—including their life stage and affluence—were designed to show where these segments live, how they like to shop, how much they spend and what media they consume. These insights helped the marketing and management teams sharpen their view of their trade areas and observe how the local competition affected their properties.
In addition to visitor insights, CWAS approached Environics Research (a partner of Environics Analytics) to solicit direct feedback from the community about new attractions, events and retailers they desired to see at a specific mall. By using the trade areas informed by MobileScapes, Environics Research was able to target its survey to people who were familiar with the mall, lowering the cost and time needed to complete their research. The survey findings were then linked to data-driven PRIZM profiles to help understand who was shopping at CWAS properties versus their competitors’ so they could pinpoint growth opportunities.
The consumer insights derived from this initiative are influencing every aspect of CWAS managed properties, from the design and amenities to the retailers and special events that attract shoppers.
The insights are assisting CWAS in unlocking new ways to connect with their communities. When one mall saw that they had an opportunity to attract a more family-oriented shopper, it hosted a temporary exhibit of life-size animatronic dinosaurs. The display significantly increased traffic to help tenants boost sales from a new target audience.
From a marketing perspective, the properties have started to incorporate geo-targeted online ads to improve the way they reach their target visitors. Engagement is up 40% while partnering retailers have noticed a lift in sales.