StoriesBlogBest practices3 customer insights essential to shopping mall marketing

3 customer insights essential to shopping mall marketing

February 25, 2021

Do you have access to these 3 customer insights essential to your shopping mall marketing?

Digitalization is here. Customers are spending more time online than ever before, and shopping malls are struggling to keep up with the digital trends.

In this article, we will investigate the important role customer insights play in shopping mall marketing.

From mass marketing to personalized experiences

For years, newspapers, magazines tv commercials and billboards were the hot-ticket items, if you wanted to get your customers attention. But, that's no longer the case.

Now, customer behavior and expectations have changed, and in order to meet their demands, shopping malls have to focus on communication that is personalized and segmented.

You might've previously achieved great results with commercials - so, why change something that isn't broken?"

Let us have a look at the numbers:

(Mindshare Ad Analysis, 2021)

The graph is showing a clear tendency: Every year, people are getting more annoyed at commercials and, at the same time, less people are positively impacted by them.

Even if traditional marketing channels have worked for your shopping center up until now, the tendency is unquestionable; their impact and customers opinion of them are on a strong decline.

This is why it's important to move towards more targeted and personalized customer communication.

And, when you move towards more targeted and personalized customer communication, it is important to start out by considering whether the right communication platforms are being used. Today, the majority of all transactions in physical shops are digitally influenced, which means digital platforms need to be prioritized, because:

  1. It's where customers spend their time (mainly on mobile)
  1. Digital platforms have the option to collect customer insights and data

Customer insights are essential

In order to provide customers with a personalized experience, you need to know who they are and what they like. For that, you need customer insights. But what customer insights do you need in order to provide them with relevant content?

1. Demographics

To target your customers you need to know their demographics. The key demographics shopping centers need to know about their customers are:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Distance to mall

Malls usually cover a very broad target group. By having insight into age, gender and distance to mall, it becomes possible to create rough segments.

2. Customer interests and preferences

Demographics are important, but they don't tell you everything about a person and what interests them. After all, while Michelle Obama is the same age as Nicolas Cage, it doesn't mean their interests and shopping habits are similar.

For malls, the key customer interests and preferences are:

  • What stores do they like?
  • What campaigns do they interact with?
  • What events are relevant to them?

These insights provide information about the customer that reaches beyond the basic (but essential) demographics. Imagine the possibilities if a shopping center would be able to only to present each customer with products and campaigns of interest?

3. Customer loyalty and profitability

The final and most important area is the insights that tells you how loyal and profitable each customer is for your mall. These include:

  • Visit frequency in the mall
  • Transaction insights

By being able to access these insights, the mall will be able to measure the effects of its communication in hard numbers. And, it will be possible to segment customers based on how often they visit and how much they buy. In doing so, the mall has insights into which customers they need to improve the experience for to increase loyalty and keep them as good customers.

The win-win agreement

Now, we've established the ideal scenario would be, from a marketing perspective.

But, this is not the reality for most shopping malls, the reason being that every single customer needs to give the mall both permission and access to these insights. For that to happen, customers need to feel that they're getting something out of the deal, too.

To get customer's permission to access these insights, the shopping center needs to think of it as a win-win situation.

Value drivers in shopping centers could be:

  • Increased convenience
  • Increased relevance in communication
  • Access to extra savings

The most straight forward way of achieving this win-win situation is through digital shopping mall concepts - here, customer loyalty can increase through relevance, savings and benefits, while giving the shopping center access to the desired data and insights.

Concepts like these are win-win, as the customer will login and give permission to access their personal information in order to get the benefits of a loyalty program or have a personalized feed from their favorite stores.

With concepts like these, the shopping center can gain access to all 3 types of customer insights, and will be able to shift their focus from mass marketing to personalized communication.

Naturally, it will be impossible to capture every single customer that visits your mall. But, the more focus your initiative gets, the more customer insights will be available to you.

The final step - how do you use the insights?

Now that we've uncovered what insights are essential and why they are so important for shopping centers to know, it's important to ensure that it is utilized as efficiently as possible.

In order to achieve the most success with the insights you're now collecting, the platform needs to support:

Access to content

If you want to change your marketing from a mass marketing to personalized, it is essential to have easy access to the personalized marketing material.

Rather than having one large segment with a generic message, you now have a lot of small segments, each with a different message -  which makes it important that your platform makes it easy to produce and supports automated processes.

Integrate into existing digital communication channels

Now that you have access to data and insights into what your customers like, and the right content to engage them, in order to have the most impact (and also reach the customers not on your platform) it should be utilized in places like social media, web, in newsletters, etc.

Build segments and automation

The platform should allow you to set up segments for the different channels based on the customer insights collected. If the platform also supports automation that will be highly beneficial, so the process of getting the right content pushed to the rights segments is automated - omitting manual work from mall marketing.

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