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 happening. Customers are spending more time online than ever, and for some reasons shopping malls are challenged following along the digital trends. In this post we will investigate the important role of customer insights in shopping mall marketing.

From mass marketing to personalized experiences

In the past years there has been a shift in shopping mall marketing. For many years the focus have been on mass marketing such as newspaper, magazines, billboards, TV-commercial etc., but now customers’ expectations and behavior have changed, and shopping malls have to focus on a more segmented and personalized communication.

The graph shows that more people get irritated by commercials and less people are positively impacted by them. It is a clear sign that shopping malls needs to move away from the traditional ways of doing mass marketing, and start by providing a more personalized experience.

 

To move towards a more targeted and personalized customer communication, it is important to start by considering whether the right communication platforms are being used or not. We see that more than half of all retail transactions in physical shops are digitally influenced, so the digital platforms needs to be prioritized. There are two main reasons for this:

1) This is where customers spend their time (especially on mobile)

2) Digital platforms have the opportunity to collect customer insights and customer behavior and provide content based on that.

Customer insights are essential

So to be able to provide customers with a personalized experience you need customer insights, and to gain customer insights digital platforms are a great asset. But what customer insights do you need to provide them with relevant content?

 

1. Demographics

To target customers with relevant content it is of course important to know their demographics. For a shopping mall the following is important:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Distance to mall

These demographic insights are important to malls as the malls’ offering typically covers a very broad target group. Age, gender and distance to mall helps to create rough segments.

 

2. Customer interests and preferences

To increase relevance in the communication it is important to know the interests of every single customers. For a mall these insights would be:

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

These insights tells even more about the customer than basic demographics. Imagine if a shopping mall would be able to provide each customer only with products and campaigns from stores of interest?

 

3. Customer profitability

The last and most important area is the actual insights that tells how loyal or profitable the single customer is for the mall. These insights include:

  • Visit frequency in the mall
  • Transaction insights

By having access to these insights, the mall will be able to measure the effects of the communication in hard numbers. Furthermore, the mall will get the opportunity to segment customers based on how much they buy and how often they visit. This allows the mall to work more like online webshops and marketplaces work, and it gives the mall the insights on which customers they need to improve the experience for to keep them as good customers.

The win-win agreement

We have now established the ideal picture from a mall marketing perspective, where the above mentioned customer insights are available for each customer. The only problem is thatthis is not the case for most shopping malls, and the reason for that is that every single customer needs to give the mall both permission and access to these insights, and there has to be a motive for the customer to do so.

 

To achieve permission and access to these customer insights the mall has to think in a win-win agreement between the mall and the customer. The mall has to show the customer that by collecting their personal information, they will get an extra value. The value drivers in shopping malls could be:

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

Digital shopping mall concepts where the customers get more shopping convenience, increased relevance and savings are proven to work.

 

Practical examples of proven digital mall concepts

App- and web based loyalty programs,where the customer is rewarded by visiting and buying in the mall. Rewardscould be giftcars, coupons etc.

Click & Collect, where thecustomer from both a mall app and web can explore products from their favoritelocal stores, and click & collect them from home.

A digital campaign-feed in app andweb, that’s constantly  updated with thenewest campaigns/news from the customer’s favorite stores

Concepts like this are win/win, where the customer will login and give permission and access to their personal information in order to get the convenience of Click & Collect, the relevance from a personalized campaign feed or the savings/rewards from a loyalty program. The mall will gain access to all 3 types of customer insights previously mentioned through these concepts, and the mall will be able to start moving their focus from mass marketing to personalized communication, because the customer insights will be available.

 

Transparency – GDPR is a good thing

When working with digitalconcepts like these, remember the honesty and the transparency towards the enduser. Be completely transparent about the win/win agreement.

This means that itshould be obvious what data is collected, why it is collected and how it isused. The customers will respect you for it, and you will experience largerengagement from your customers in these types of concepts.  

 

 

 

It goes without saying that a shopping mall will not be able to create concepts that captures all mall customers, but the point is that the more focus it gets, the larger the customer base will be, and the more customer insights will be available.

 

Another important area to focus on when working with these types of shopping mall concepts is the tenant engagement. Without support from the tenants it will be hard to have loyalty programs that offers coupons, and it will be hard to offer Click & Collect without access to the tenants’ product and campaign content to present in app and on web.

 

The final step – how do you use the insights?

After successfully deploying the digital mall concepts and hereby gaining access to the customer insights needed to provide personalized communication, it is important to have a platform that supports the digital communication across the digital channels.

The shopping mall marketingteam are often dealing with a very limited amount of resources, which means that the platform needs to support automated processes. The following 3 areas are important:

 

Access to content

Easy access to product and campaign material is essential as you will need a whole lot of it when changing from the mass marketing approach to the personalized approach. Instead of having one large segment (mass marketing) and a generic message to everyone, you will now have a lot of small segments, where every segment will have different messages.Customers interested in female fashion should be provided with content from female fashion stores, and customers interested in gaming and technology should be presented with content from those stores.

 

Because of this it is important that the platform supports easy upload of products and campaigns from the local tenants. Furthermore, it is important that the platform integrates with the national retailers’ marketing head quarters, so that the national content is automatically accessible in the malls marketing.

 

Integration to existing digital communication channels

When having access to the content needed, the platform must integrate with all the digital channels. This means that the content should be available to use on both app, web, socialmedia, digital signage, newsletters etc.

 

Build segments and automation

Last but not least, the platform must support setting up segments based on the customer insights collected. It depends on the permission given weather segments can be used across channels, but nevertheless it should be possible to set up the segments for the different channels.  After setting up the segments it will be a large benefit if it also supportsautomation, so the process of getting the content pushed to the segments is an automated process, which means the mall marketing does not have to do it manually every day.

 

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