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JLL Partners with Canadian AI Product Search Company to Address Hybrid Future of Retail

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Commercial real estate firm JLL has partnered with Adeptmind, an AI-based search product company, to provide Canadian landlords with a new omnichannel digital retail solution.

The platform allows consumers to shop and purchase products from multiple retailers, anytime, anywhere. Shoppers can search for specific products, browse by category or by store.

Adeptmind powers more than 400 partner websites and applications. Shopping centre operators such as Cadillac Fairview, Centennial REIT, Oxford Properties, Radiant Partners, and Bayer Properties are using Adeptmind’s innovative solution to deliver real time discovery experiences to shoppers.

Lee Jackson

Lee Jackson, Vice President, Retail Business Development, JLL Canada, said the consumer appetite for the brick and mortar environment has not been suppressed, simply the appetite for convenience has increased.

“I think ecommerce has been growing year over year pre-pandemic and the pandemic has obviously accelerated that. There’s been a major spike. From a shopping centre perspective that’s the bricks and mortar sites that the customers have traditionally visited and the marriage of digital and physical for the centres is something I think has been lacking for some time,” he said.

“We’re excited about this partnership with Adeptmind because it does just that. It creates an opportunity for I call it the omnification of shopping centres where you can offer that digital discovery experience and look for the item before going to the centre or be at the centre and make that real time discovery experience.

“I think ecommerce is going to continue to grow but I think the lines are going to become blurred because the experience is actually going to be omni based. You’re going to be looking for that product online but purchasing it in store because of convenience, because of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), because of cost, because last mile cost is starting to flow back to customers in a big way. And you have this massive fulfillment centre which is the local shopping centre that has the product sitting on the shelf. They’re helping you to discover that product today.”

Image: Adeptmind

Research indicates that during the pandemic e-commerce sales have increased exponentially. In North America, retail e-commerce sales represented 14 per cent of total retail sales growing by 32 per cent in 2020. In Canada, retail e-commerce sales increased by 70.5 per cent in 2020.

Jesse Michael

“Whether it’s on the web or in an app, landlords can easily plug in Adeptmind’s Marketplace solution giving their shoppers access to all tenants in their enclosed, outdoor air, or strip centre destinations,” said Jesse Michael, Managing Director at Adeptmind. “Shoppers can search for specific products, browse by category or by store and post-search through image guided discovery or traditional filters, quickly narrowing down to what they’re looking for.”

Michael said Adeptmind’s platform enhances the digital shopping experience at shopping destinations and facilitates an end-to-end digital marketplace. This allows consumers to shop and purchase the products on the shelves of multiple retailers, anytime, anywhere. This ability to shop multiple retailers online, combined with the central locations of shopping centres within the community, enables customers to get products faster (same day delivery) and cheaper (curbside/centralized pick up) than they can from pure play e-commerce retailers and other digital marketplaces.

Shopping centres pioneering in this space will be more connected to the consumer and to the retailers who tenant their centres.

Adeptmind has been around for five years and is based in Toronto and works with some of the top 400-500 retailers in the world.

LiVE by CF will be rolled out at all 19 CF shopping centre properties across Canada in English and French. (CNW Group/Ravel by CF)

The company has neighbouring offices with Cadillac Fairview and the shopping centre landlord learned about what it was doing in that space and approached Adeptmind more than two years ago. They wanted to launch an app and make the malls searchable. LiVE by CF was launched from that initial discussion.

“That was our first entrance into this space but then realized in those conversations and subsequent other conversations with a number of landlords, not only in North America, but Europe and the Middle East that there was a place for this,” said Michael. “Really focused around product discovery and pre-planning of the trip. That’s really how it first started.

“What we brought to the table was a patent pending feature the ability to bring local inventory of each store into the experience. We’ve got technology that brings this to life for retailers.”

The company has a growing presence in Canada, the US, the UK and France.

“There will be a number of others I’ll be able to announce at a later day that we’ve signed agreements with.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He now works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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