Image Source: mbell1975 New retail and technology trends are changing the traditional shopping experience, which is shaping up to be a good thing for commercial real estate. So what's changing, what isn't, and how will it affect commercial real estate? 8 Retail Tech Trends to Watch: 1.) Virtual Reality Instead of online shopping displacing bricks and mortar as some proclaimed, experts now agree that the two are merging together to help solidify the future of local retail shopping. The lines between the offline and online shopping world are often blurred. This can be seen with the recent announcement by e-commerce technology company, Shopify, who plan to invest $100M in funding to retail businesses in the real world. 2.) YouTube YouTube wasn't only the key for landing Justin Bieber on the map, or for helping residential home sellers and real estate agents sell homes with virtual tours. Now technology has become so much easier to use some are using mini-movies to sell real estate developments. 3.) Mobile Apps Tech publication Venture Beat recently suggested that small businesses such as restaurants, might be better off going 100% mobile with their marketing efforts in 2014. Until recently, mobile apps have been frustrating and expensive for small businesses to develop. New services enable them to build and publish their own mobile apps for less than a cup of coffee a day and go live in just a couple of hours. This can go a long way to help small businesses stay at the front of consumers' minds and bring them back to their store. 4.) Mobile Offers Building on the above, apps enable retailers to use push notifications to get the attention of their consumers, let them know about deals and attract them to their store. 5.) Super Bowl Technology Edmonton recently found its technology hub firmly thrown onto the world map with a startup who provided tech services for the Super Bowl. This type of technology can create a more interactive and engaging experience for patrons at shopping centres. 6.) iBeacon New iBeacon technology has the ability to deliver push notifications to consumers' mobile devices as they near the entrance or move through a store. The goal is to increase foot traffic, provide a more personalized experience, and ultimately boost sales. 7.) Free Wi-Fi Free Wi-Fi in public hotspots may not be revolutionary news. However, tech giants such as Facebook have started to offer small business owners free internet for their customers in an effort to get them to stay longer and increase interaction. 8.) Improved Data Tracking Data tracking technology now effectively allows retailers to know who bought what, where, when, and how. All of this can help retailers and property managers increase customer traffic in their stores. What it means for retail ¦ These technological advances and recent trends are making retail properties increasingly viable. At a minimum, they can provide potential increases in revenue for stores, which can develop into more demand for retail space and higher rental rates.