Kieran Miles, KakeCo - Revo Radar.

Blog image
Last modified on 03/07/2018

Want to know what you should be looking out for in 2018? We've been talking to industry figures on what the future holds!

Kieran is the Founder of KakeCo, a management consultancy helping organisations to better understand the ‘digital age’ and create clear asset value now and for the future. He has his say...



What will be the biggest challenge for our industry over the next 12 months?

Staying relevant. In short, we won’t see a back track from consumers shopping online as much as we won’t see a sudden surge in retailers taking new or longer leases for retail space. What we will see though is change, and we must keep up. 

Retailers, shopping centres and building managers alike will need to understand how to better use customer data to predict, personalise and add value to the customer journey. This will be matched with another big challenge for our industry though, and that’s cybercrime. If it connects to the internet and collects data, it has a value, both to us and to a hacker.


What do you think are the biggest opportunities for the next 12 months?

There are lots of opportunities in both tech, experience and use of spaces, however the biggest has to be data. For example, if you park 1 million cars in your car park a year and you can’t tell me the average car age, the model most frequently parking, when the insurance is up for renewal and how many times a year a specific car is parked and at what time, then you’re missing a big opportunity.

In my opinion, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Algorithms will soon operate and manage more key functions within shopping centres, retail spaces and property. We will increasingly see spaces learning and making their own decision and as a result of this, for example, a typical shopping centre could cut operating costs, become more savvy to consumer behaviour and become increasingly valuable based on the data it collects and understands rather than the bricks and mortar housing it.

Of course, there are plenty of other opportunities for new omnichannel experiences, social media interaction with like-buy-share tools and of course technology advancements which will create new ways for consumers to engage and shop. We’ve seen the rise in the number of Amazon collection points and I don’t think it will be too long until those collection points turn into 3D printing points, where shoppers print items while they enjoy a coffee. 


What is the one major challenge facing retailers in 2018?

Like many things, sometimes the answer can also be the curse and while we get to grips with better using and understanding data, for me, data use itself is the biggest challenge. Protecting data forms part of that equation and so does effectively using it. Much like turning crude oil into fuel, you must refine it and that starts with a super focused approach to outcomes and a creative approach to data matching. Can Google Weather data matched with gender monitoring sensors tell us when to post an offer on social media, the answer is yes, and it’s far more effective than you might think.


What piece of tech do you think will make an impact in 2018?

Blockchain, but only for the super savvy operators. I’m excited to see the first car park terminal or coffee shop which accepts cryptocurrency, because it will happen.

For those that are being bold, I believe we’ll see more chatbots integrated into the full retail experience. From chatbots manning receptions and information points, to personal assistants and shoppers. Chatbots will continue to grow and provide a very real opportunity to add distinct value.

On a more mainstream level I think we can predict contactless will continue to create faster, more user friendly experiences, virtual reality will continue to grow its functionality for fund managers to show clients around a property in real time from anywhere in the world and voicesearch will increasingly become a part of the norm for shoppers searching items or places within a centre or store. I mean, why shouldn’t you ask the elevator whether a store has a certain item in stock, pay for that item in the elevator via a payment terminal and simply pick up the item from the store collection point? All of this is possible and will soon be the norm.


Who do you admire in politics currently and why?

Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand. Jacinda for me represents a new era of politician which is representative of the modern world we live in. A female leader who speaks openly about mental health issues, has fought for LGBT equality in the country and has shown clear relatable life experience. Plus in her spare time, Jacinda DJ’s, which is an idea I just love, because every real party should have a DJ.


Do you have a saying or piece of wisdom which inspires you? If so, what is it?

I have many, but the one which is written at the front of my current notebook is “Don’t let your successes go to your head or your failures go to your heart”. It resonates with the entrepreneurial side of me.


Who’s your mentor or someone you’d always seek advice from?

I have many mentors and I’m always seeking to learn from as many people as possible. It was once said ‘not wanting to learn is something only arrogance can afford’ and with that, I’m always keen to try new things, listen harder and ask as many questions as possible.


Where would your ideal holiday be to this year?

Toughest question of all. I like to boulder; rock climbing without ropes, so a trip to Hampi in India to climb the boulders in the Indian sun is something which is on cards.


Tags: Marketing & Consumer Trends, Technology & Innovation