Retail Real Estate Experts talk about their life and career on Bayfield Training Blog.
President, Ipsos Retail Performance
PATRICIA: You started off your professional career as an Electrician at Electrolux. What was the reason why you’ve moved on to retail performance management industry?
PETER: Simply put, I felt I could make a difference and have an impact in an industry which was only just grasping the potential of leveraging technology. Other industries have been unlocking the potential of big data since the boom of the internet back in 2000, and I really felt there was value in the collection of data for use in retail.
For example, manufacturing considers an operative’s behaviour on the production line: what tasks do they do, what value does it add, how far do they have to walk to complete their tasks and how could this be improved? Looking into Ipsos Retail Performance I saw an exciting set of tools, such as the Customer Journey Mapping that could be utilised to achieve the same thing in retail, a less mature market compared with manufacturing, oil and gas, or other industries that had been leveraging Big Data
PATRICIA: IPSOS Retail Performance provides various operational metrics. Can you tell us how it could lead to better management of retail space?
PETER: This is a huge question with lots of potential, I am pleased to say.
It’s critical that a provider has the operational capabilities to consistently deliver on operational metrics. Being able to raise your game for a one-off, custom event is one thing, but delivering metrics and insights that can be trusted and relied upon consistently and on time is a fundamental building block of Ipsos Retail Performance. This allows us to deliver the data to meet KPI reporting deadlines. After all, there is no point having the board meeting on a Monday and delivering the data for the week on a Tuesday! These operational metrics become the baseline of the operational business, allow the measurement of the health of the business and then drive decisions.
For Shopping malls centres and high streets, what we deliver is a clear identification of where they are today and the size of the opportunity. How much opportunity is walking in the ‘front door’? From this point, we can confidently assess the impact an action has on this opportunity, be it positive or negative.
Ipsos understands the levers available to a shopping centre, with one key area being marketing. Tying marketing events to traffic allows us to work out the impact the marketing spend has on achieving the goal of pulling in more opportunity.
For Ipsos this is only the beginning. Once we know the size of the opportunity we develop a greater capability to see and understand what people do, as well as where they go on a more granular, project-based approach.
We measure how they behave with non-invasive techniques, seeing what they really do and not just what they say or think they do. We have seen clients transform their layouts, signage and flows as a result.
PATRICIA: You are in partnership with us at Bayfield Training and have presented at our Introduction to Shopping Centre Investment Course. How do you think your work helps the delegates taking the course? Is there any further work that you have in your mind that you want to carry out with Bayfield?
PETER: We are very excited to work with Bayfield because, like at Ipsos, it’s a knowledge based approach to helping clients gain a competitive edge. Together, I see us creating an end-to-end closed-loop system of centre management, from strategic decision making at the early concept stage, to tracking the impact on operational business tied together as a full eco-system with willing retailers that we extensively work with.
PATRICIA: The technology at IPSOS Retail Performance is very impressive and may be applied in broader data analysis. Do you have plans to expand to other sectors besides retail?
PETER: One of our key areas is to move into the mall/high street market, and we are already gaining traction with a number of sites in Asia and Africa.
In addition to Shopping Centres and Malls, Ipsos is also moving into public spaces with real time occupancy systems providing 98% accuracy to optimise space use. Sites include landmark buildings in central London to ferry services in Hong Kong. Another area of expansion is with our parent company, working with packaged goods providers and gaining an understanding of how a product is selected in the store, where is the best place to position a product and what communication techniques are working well.