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Customers Don’t Distinguish Between Physical, Digital Spaces Anymore

Sandy Sigal, president and CEO of NewMark Merrill, may have built his company in the physical world of real estate, but he’s keenly aware the lines between online and brick and mortar are blurring. In fact, he asserts that the line is often non-existent for the consumer nowadays. That’s because technology has armed shoppers with the ability to shop how, when and where they choose.

Retail companies planning to be around for the long haul are doing the same by investing in their non-core counterpart to ensure the physical and digital scales are relatively balanced.

For Sigal, some of these efforts involve measuring and monitoring the traffic flow at and social impressions about his shopping centers. He utilizes technology to comb through content on 25 social sites, providing a digital report card of sorts on retailers and centers throughout his portfolio. Sigal is extremely bullish on technology and believes we’re not too far from a world where shoppers are greeted by name, sales associates make purchase suggestions based on buying history, and transactions are seamless as the shoppers’ preferred payment method is stored safely and securely.

We’re not there yet, but Sigal believes if Amazon can do all this now, the physical environment isn’t too far behind.

Watch the interview for many more insights from Sigal about how technology is changing our physical spaces.

Original Article – Retail Insights, a publication of France Media Inc.