CASE STUDY: A shopping mall went from a slow start online to 24 month of steady growth (INTERVIEW INCLUDED)

About Storcenter Nord

Storcenter Nord is owned by Salling Group, one of the biggest retailers in Scandinavia. As one of the first malls in Denmark they launched Emplate app in august 2017 and after a rough start they changed track and the results of a strategic marketing plan started to show. The strategy went from a primary focus on getting more downloads to activating users with a targeted bonusprogram. 

Merete Lauridsen, Marketing Manager.

One thing is what we say about Storcenter Nord another thing is what they say about us. Before we start let us see what the shopping malls marketing manager have to say about their journey online so far.

We have talked to Merete Lauridsen, Marketing Manager, to get a few comments on how they have experienced the collaboration between Emplate and Storcenter Nord. 

What is your experience collaborating with Emplate? 

It has been very good working with Emplate. It is always easy to get in touch and get feedback on whatever problem or question we might have. 

What did you find out worked for your marketing strategy? 

We found out that our costumers reacted positively to the bonus program. First we thought that they would respond to news regarding the mall and good offers but soon we found that what really got people to download the app was the prizes in the bonusprogram. And then after the download they would use the information about the mall and offers from the stores. But what caught their attention was the bonusprogram.

How has it been working with the Emplate System?

It was a big challenge getting started with the system. It toke some time to find out how to use it right. It was hard to find out what kind of messages and prizes that the costumers responded to and what kind of collaboration that our tenants where interested in and capable of. It was all new to us and we had to learn from day one and got of experience to find out what solutions and strategies were the best. 

What are your expectations for the future according to Emplate app? 

We will be working in the same way we do now. Maybe we have reached our full potential of number of downloads and therefore it is important for us to focus on how to activate and reactive existing users and keep a nice and attractive bonusprogram. 

We did not get the results we planned for in the beginning

The first 3-4 months Storcenter Nord where not performing as we hoped for. Therefore Storcenter Nord changed track and started to focus on activating users and on the building a targeted bonus program. That strategy has shown great results which means that they have had a continuously growth in downloads over 24 months despite their unusual start. 

As seen here above the results in the first three months of using Emplate was not what the shopping mall hoped for. 

But over time the monthly growth rates increase and stabilised.

And over 24 month the growth for the shopping mall have been great. But it was not without effort. 

The data don’t tell the full story

The three screenshots of the malls dashboard shown here above dosen’t tell the full story. Therefore we have gathered some additional insights about how the shopping mall turned the tables regarding their success rates online.

Reactivating users

  • Continuous reactivating campaigns has resulted in a ongoing increase in influenced mall visits meaning that 86.069 visits can be tracked back to the usage of the app. 
  • Focusing on activating existing users has also led to a steady number of monthly active users having approximately between 3000-4000 active users a month.

Strategic marketing plan

  • Storcenter Nord has pointed out one person responsible for reaching the goals set for the marketing which has resulted in new ideas generated and continuous focus on the strategy. This is also one of our key recommendations. 
  • Storcenter Nord has continuously tested marketing materials and effects of social media to find out what activities works the best.

Bonus program 

  • As a result of the tests they have had an extra focus on a targeted bonus program with new prizes every month which resulted in activating existing users.
  • It is necessary to corporate with the tenants to maintain a functioning bonus program. Storcenter Nord has been particularly good at engaging tenants resulting in relevant prizes which has led to 8923 bonus prize redemptions the last 12 months. 
The journey Storcenter Nord has been on is uncommon from most malls. It shows that even though you have a slow start you can have a strong output on the long run. If you are interested in reading about a different journey you could read about Kolding Storcenter or VestsjællandsCentret. Two malls that started in a higher speed and with different challenges and other strategic goals

Goals and strategy – How did Storcenter Nord start increasing users? 

From the beginning Storcenter Nord had some strategic goals and messages that they soon realized they had to adjust due to the fact that costumers where not downloading the app. Looking at the numbers and effects of the initiatives in the strategy they learned a lesson. 
COMMENT: We know that the number of downloads are important and it might seem like the obvious focus point but it is important to focus on the activity on app too as this is where the most value come from.

Additional comment

We know that the number of downloads are important and it might seem like the obvious focus point but it is important to focus on the activity on app too as this is where the most value come from.

Rethinking the strategy they went from mainly focusing on increasing downloads to focusing on messages and initiatives that would activate users. They found that adjusting goals and content by looking at the effects of their content continuously were necessary to reach their goals.  
Below you can see the main goals for Storcenter Nord marketing strategy. 


Increase downloads by maintaining and activating users 

One thing that Storcenter Nord has been especially good at is maintaining and activating users which has led to a steady – and some might say slow – increase in downloads throughout 24 months and still going strong. By focusing on the bonus program and activating the users instead of merely focusing on getting more downloads, they changed their strategy and thereby their content which has been satisfying for many costumers. 


Making a marketing strategy that combines all platforms.

Storcenter Nord has hired a two agencies one which helps getting new ideas for marketing campaigns and another that helps them with social media. Together they have made a marketing and social media strategy that supports the strategy for the app which has been a succesful solution contributing to a bigger awareness among the costumers. 


Tenant engagement
for more campaigns and better content.

Storcenter Nord has been particularly good at engaging tenants resulting in relevant prizes for the bonus program and interactive and targeted content for the users. This cooperation is key if you want to have a succesful bonus program and active users. 

Results – How did Storcenter Nord preform and reach their goals? 

One thing is to set goals another is to reach them. Below you can see some the the results that Storcenter Nord has achieved. 

Steady amount of new download through out 2 years period by continuously activating users

The goal for Storcenter Nord was – as for any other mall using Emplate app – to increase the number of users. There are many ways to reach that goal but the strategy that Storcenter Nord implemented resulted in a steady amount of new downloads through out 2 years period, by continuously activating users and plan their marketing initiatives to support the development. 

Activating and reactivating users to keep interest and increase mall visits 

Storcenter Nord has focused on how they could activate and reactivate their users. They have continuously discovered new possibilities and made reactivating campaigns a core part of their marketing strategy. One thing that they has been particularly good at has been making a targeted bonus program and that in cooperation with their tenants. 

Tenant engagement 

To succeed with Emplate Consumer App good content is key – that goes for all apps built for shopping malls as well actually. Storcenter Nord has had this in mind from the beginning and with a goal of activating the users and maintain a well-functioning bonus program they have been reaching out to the tenant. By engaging the tenants and letting them provide the content for the app and prizes for the bonus program, the app continuously has had an interesting feed that has led to more active costumers using the app to find inspiration and take use of the bonus program. 

Marketing strategy combining all activities 

It has been a goal to make a strategy that combines all marketing activities with a main focus on Emplate app. Storcenter Nord has succeeded with that by using their content for several platforms to support a joint strategy where Emplate app, social media and other marketing activities are combined in order to support the same goals. 

Summary

To sum up, the journey that Storcenter Nord has been on, you could say, has been steady but slow – as well as consistent. Keeping a marketing flow going continuously, where you adapt and learn from numbers and effect of content, has made a steady journey that has led to a slow performing proces, but with numbers that are going up. After a slow beginning they changed their focus and started to integrate the bonus program and thereby engaging both users and tenants which has shown to be a great succes leading to both higher numbers of downloads, mall visits and active users. 
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