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Retailers Are Embracing Omnichannel Marketing

Chicago Retail

Omnichannel marketing represents a significant shift in how marketers do business, and that includes real estate. Pine Tree Commercial Realty principal Peter Borzak, one of our panelists at Bisnow’s 6th Annual Retail Real Estate Series, 7am on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at The Century, says his firm has embraced omnichannel marketing for some of its retail assets.

Pine Tree principal and co-founder Peter Borzak

Omnichannel marketing allows consumers to engage with a company through a physical location, online or via a mobile app, via a catalog or through social media, fulfilling orders and fielding customer service requests seamlessly regardless of the medium. Peter says it’s important for developers and property managers to view a retail experience through the consumer's eyes. Omnichannel anticipates that customers may start in one channel and move to another as they reach a resolution.


Pine Tree first began seriously tackling omnichannel marketing in late 2013, stressing the importance of experience to their retail tenants and how omnichannel marketing is often a result of consumers’ desire for a more efficient, friendlier and customizable shopping experience. Embracing the world of online reviews, social media, in-store and property-wide events, data-capture, email marketing and e-commerce are all a part of the conversation. Pine Tree advises tenants to discover which media will best suit their business so the firm can help them promote it.


Pine Tree's starts by informing and training its tenants and turning the traditional landlord-tenant relationship into more of a partnership. Peter says he sincerely wants to see tenants do well and grow, and Pine Tree is with them every step of the way to make that happen, including working with tenants to host on-site events. Example: a concert series they organized at The Village of Blaine Shopping Center in Blaine, MN, last summer. Pine Tree collaborates with its tenants to find ways to increase foot traffic to its centers, but also helps market individual businesses when applicable. That includes building shopping center websites for tenants to upload deals/coupons, in-store events, social media pages, Yelp reviews, Google Maps, and Foursquare check-ins. Peter estimates close to 500 people attended a Halloween event at The Village of Blaine last October that was promoted solely on social media.


Peter believes the trend toward customer experience will only increase in the near future, with retailers treating their brick-and-mortar locations in the same light as their e-commerce platforms. Ultimately, the customer doesn’t see the silos that marketers have traditionally seen; a mobile app, website, in-store purchase, or ship-to-store/in-store pick-up purchase are all the same to them and should be measured as such. He adds that he sees a lot of e-commerce players inching into the brick-and-mortar realm just as more brick-and-mortar players are dipping their toes into e-commerce. It all revolves around what’s the best possible customer experience. To learn more, please attend Bisnow’s 6th Annual Retail Real Estate Series, 7am on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at The Century, 2828 N Clark St. Register here.