The future of retail begins right now

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Lucinda Kelly, founder of Popertee, a location intelligence company started in Dublin, Ireland, talks to Keith Spiro Communicast.

Whether it’s forced closure or currently vacant space, retail is in a tailspin. Overnight the world has learned about live streaming and interactive video chats, yet when the current world health crisis ends, humans will crave real life experiences. How will retail and landlords maximize the new appreciation for physical connection?

Futurist retail thinker and entrepreneur, Lucinda Kelly, has been bridging the divide between online sales channels and offline (in real life) experiences with her company Popertee since 2016.

With the whole world in lockdown, all of us have turned to live-streaming channels and video chats to keep ourselves humanly connected. You do realize that companies from the NY Times to Facebook and Google are tracking our every online move since we’ve openly or desperately invited them into our lives. “Free access to COVID-19 coverage” in exchange for your email address and other identifying information is not exactly free. It’s an invitation to let companies into our daily world and they won’t be going away. Our digital fingerprints are tracked and categorized and offered back to us in more relevant programming. Some of that exchange will result in better experiences in real life.

By using real-world physical data, marketers and retailers can capitalize on the new opportunities that come with 5G and better live streaming tools. The result will be better physical space experiences. Popertee is on a mission to become the global leader in location intelligence for marketers and retailers seeking retail spaces. By creatively blending available space with available information on foot traffic, retail experiences can be greatly improved for all of us.

Lucinda shared some thoughts with me on how we begin the transition. Everything from pop-up temporary stores in permanent locations to examples of closed-in malls that have added public park-type slides improves the use of space to drive experiences that stick with us and draw us back. We already have gotten used to the concept of drive-through COVID19 testing, right?

Now, let’s bring together a new mix of buildings, streets, video bloggers and well-known local community influencers and pedestrian traffic will note the familiar faces and places. Brand giveaways? They work best when blended in a local way. “Hey I know you!” The invitation to test, ride, sit or taste becomes more welcomed.

Manchester has the brew tour, taco tour and other happy inducements to venture around town. In the post-COVID19 world, we will have that moment in time to consider how to apply the new skills we’ve gained and might better blend online with in-real-life experiences.  One test of this may very well be the petition to expand outdoor dining and block party atmosphere in a post COVID19 world.

Let’s explore the best of world experience from our desktops today so we can bring real-life experiences to a new level tomorrow. This is a time to re-evaluate most all of our preconceptions. Many went out the window with COVID19.


About this Author


Keith Spiro

Advisor & ContributorManchester InkLink

Business Strategist, Community Builder with a keen interest in working with high-impact startups and other organizations that can make a difference in community and health.