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3 digital consumer trends that will be crucial to shopping malls (2019)

8/10/18 2:32 PM by Uffe Aalborg

Digitalization will be even more important in the close future than it is today.

Here at Emplate we follow the digital trends closely and we are excited about the digital future for shopping malls.

We are passionate about helping shopping malls and have identified three of the digital trends that we expect to evolve the most in 2019.

uffe-aalborg-nielsen-emplateWe’ll share them here, to save you the trouble of doing the research

 

The 3 trends are (Click on one of the headline to jump right to it)

1. Customers will increase time spend online in the mall

shopper_online_behaviour (2) (1)

In recent years customers have increased their online presence. According to ZEIT Online the average German customer use their smartphone for two hours a day – a number that has dramatically increased in recent years. For young people the amount of time is twice as high.

This means that young people use their phones 25% of their waken hours.

Young German consumers use their phone 4 hours a day

Zeit Online

For a shopping mall it means that for every hour a young customer spends shopping in the mall, they are exposable for digital communication from the mall in 15 minutes.
 

Social media usage keeps
increasing among customers

You have probably already guessed it: Social media is where the biggest amount of online time is spent. 

Did you know that among consumers social media usage increased by 13% from Jan 2017 to Jan 2018?

Consumers social media usage (1)

And even though you may have heard that customers leave Facebook in heavy numbers it is still the most used social media according to data from Comscore.

Social-media-network-popularity-2018 (1) (1)

In fact most shopping malls could increase shop visits and returning customers by improving their performance on Facebook.

Shopping mall customers uses shopping mall apps  4 mins on days they visit the mall

Another important fact is that customers have increased time spent in mall apps doing their visit to a shopping mall.

According to our data does the average customers that uses a shopping mall app spend more than 4 minutes in the app doing days they visit the mall  – a number that we expect to increase in the following years.

In the app customers are looking for:

  • Special offers
  • Opening hours
  • Relevant events and
  • Nice ways to spend loyalty points.


Therefore the app keeps the mall at top of the customer mind.

 

Why this info matters for shopping malls

You might be thinking that as long as the customers stay in the mall everything is good. But malls that do not optimise for the customers’ digital behaviour will miss out on the following possibilities:

  • Showing relevant advertisements to the customers based on their behaviour in the mall
  • Making the customer aware of an upcoming event
  • Helping the customer share their experience on social media.
  • Possibility to collect valuable data on customer behaviour

 

Further reading: 

(Case study) herningCentret one year after launching an app

 

2. Customers will expect to receive a personalised experience

Shopping malls have a critical advantage when compared to e-commerce: They can create experiences mixing the benefits of online and offline shopping.

Today we see that a growing number of customers are demanding experiences tailored directly towards them. They expect experiences that lever both online and offline interaction.

According to a survey conducted by Crowstwist does customers - especially the young generation - favour personalised experiences and marketing. A similar conclusion was made in a survey conducted by the research company Segment showing that personalised experiences in retail stores lead to:

  • Increased impulse purchases from customers
  • Decrease in return of purchases 
  • Increased value


And probably the most important

  • 44% of customers said they where likely to purchase again after the personalised experience

Pro Example:

By using the tailored Emplate consumer app, customers are able to filter the tenant stores they would like to receive offers from in the app. Thereby the app only shows offer relevant for them. Resulting in customers experiencing a personalised experience. 

The result is that customers open the app multiple times a month, and visits the mall x times more often.

 

3. Customers will use shopping mall websites for research

Probably the most important trend for shopping malls in the future is that 50% of customers make propper research before they go to the mall. The well know research company Forrester expect this number to increase to above 55% by 2021.

Accordingly to this does our app data shows that malls that influence the buying decision digitally multiple times through the buying process are more likely to increase revenue per store. 

 

Therefore a huge potential is hidden here.

 

Among the three trends highlighted in this post, this is the trend that the fewest shopping malls are adopting, leaving a huge potential. However we expect that many shopping malls will start helping customers in the research phase, by transforming their website from a static site only showing opening hours and the various shops to showing the products currently available in the stores. 

 

The first examples are already here!

 

Waves shopping solution (1)

In Denmark the Copenhagen based shopping mall Waves shows special offers from all their tenants to the website visitors. These offers can be tailored based on the customers’ previous visits to the mall.

This will increase the relevance of the offers that the customer sees, and the amount of times a customer visits the mall per year.

Pro tip:

Using the Emplate management system Waves is able to automatically import offers from all their tenant’s shops on a daily basis. 

Westfield shopping solution (1)

Another great example is the Westfield mall in London.

Here they collect all the products currently available at their tenants’ shops, and customer's can thereby browse and find relevant products to see and buy in the store.

This creates an advantage in the competition with e-commerce shops, as the customers can research the product from the mall’s website and afterwards be sure to find it in the tenants’ stores.

The customer is thereby able to find, research, buy and pick up the products right away. 

Final thoughts

It’s exciting to see how technology will transform shopping malls in the near future. Here at Emplate we are proud of being the leading growth platform for shopping malls.

If you are planning to take the next step in your malls digital journey, then let me help you get started. Download our e-book below, and learn the 5 consideration you need to make before digitalising. 

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Uffe Aalborg

Written by Uffe Aalborg

Head of Marketing. Passionate about using data to create better customer experiences. A fairly poor football player that uses passion to make up for it.