The retail analytics platform uses geo-targeting to direct display advertising, through smartphone apps, and digital signboards, which will allow retailers to focus advertising in locations based on the physical movement of customers through trade areas.

It will also leverage property analytics from big data to provide insights on consumption patterns and user profiles, as well as data on how ad views have translated to physical store visits.

CBRE’s Australian head of retail analytics Matt Copus said combining retail analytics and geo-targeting would set the service apart from others in the retail industry.

“The launch of our new retail analytics based geo-targeting service is an excellent demonstration of big data application in real life, with the potential to cause significant disruption in the retail industry,” Mr Copus said.

“The retail industry is extremely competitive, so having the potential to tap into the exact location of customers and position a brand accordingly, is huge. It will drive competitive advantage, maximise customer impact and minimise ad wastage.”

Combining property expertise with digital media in this way is a global first, CBRE claims, and it marks the agency’s first foray into the digital media space.

Mr Copus added that the new service was a significant step for the company into an innovative area.

“Moving into the digital media space is a big shift for CBRE and highlights the growing convergence of the physical and digital elements of retail. With a more holistic approach, we can enable clients to target and reach customers in a smarter and more efficient way.”

The new platform has already brought to light a number of findings about retail traffic movements in Australia’s capital cities, CBRE’s head of retail leasing for Australia Leif Olson said.

One of these insights include how pedestrianising Sydney’s George Street - where a light rail line is being constructed - was affecting the surrounding retail district.

“The data has shown areas that are positively impacted by pedestrianisation and which will benefit directly from increased flows of affluent customers shopping along George Street and the main Sydney retail precinct,” Mr Olson said.

“These insights are allowing us to deliver previously untapped data to our clients, that will help shape and transform their retail strategy to better capitalise on buyer behaviour trends.”

In Melbourne, the platform analysed more than 100 million GPS signals to understand how people moved through the city’s CBD.

About 5.7 million pedestrians commuted through Collins Street in the past 12 months, making St Collins Lane an important part of the CBD in terms of customer foot flow, the analysis found.

Cover Image: Opening up Sydney’s George Street to pedestrians has lifted customer traffic numbers on the street and surrounding areas. (Source: Lawrence Wang via Wikimedia Commons)