The Canadian retail industry is enjoying plenty of new technology, with huge potential for boosting business for stores while enhancing property performance for real estate investors. So what new tech tools are coming to the aid of retailers and their landlords and how can they help? Mobile Meetup Apps Facebook just launched its Friends Nearby' mobile app. The app enables users to see where their friends are and meetup. Apps like this certainly have the potential to boost foot traffic and same store sales, while creating new opportunities in enhanced location based marketing. Facebook isn't the only one in this game either. New startup dating apps like HeavenlySinful are making it increasingly easier for strangers to connect, which could encourage more spending in restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. For the privacy hungry, there are new cloak apps to hide from friends, family, and stalkers too. Traffic Counters One of the most significant technological advances for retailers and commercial real estate investors is the emergence of big data in traffic counts. New sensors placed on the interior and exterior of shopping malls can deliver more data than ever, with highly accurate vehicle and pedestrian counts and behavioral pattern data. This can help tenants pinpoint the optimal locations for their businesses, help landlords better place tenants within a shopping plaza, enhance marketing results and ROI, while lifting the incomes of all involved. Billionaire investor Mark Cuban recently invested in startup Motionloft which is a company dedicated to this, though there are others moving in with similar technology. iBeacon Technology iBeacon technology builds on the above and offers retailers and mall owners the opportunity to interact with mobile customers with laser precision targeting. Highly target digital offers can be beamed directly to consumer's mobile devices depending on exactly where they are in a store or a property. This can improve conversion rates, boost same customer sales, improve overall efficiency, and increase revenues. Augmented Reality Before even really going big with Glass, Google is already working on virtual reality contact lenses which may go down better than the current, more obvious wearables. However, according to a new white paper from Smart Go Logo, augmented reality apps and advertisements engaged via smartphones and tablets are already racking up 10s of millions of downloads, and now account for over 10% of top ads in bestselling magazines. Applied to signage, window marketing and in-store, the engagement potential and loyalty building AR provides could have a significant difference in year-round retail investment property performance.
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