How Battente managed to activate tenants and reach digital success

May 12, 2022
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How do you succeed in engaging the tenants in your shopping center at the same time as you’re looking to digitalize? One answer could be to combine the efforts. In this case study, we’ll have a look at how one shopping center managed to activate their tenants with their new consumer app and achieve great results for both mall management, tenants and customers.

The town of Ascoli Piceno is located in the picturesque landscape of central Italy. Here, you will find the shopping center Centro Commerciale Battente Shopping & More, which is a property of F.G. Gallerie Commerciali S.p.A (Gabrielli Group). In the shopping center sector, FG Gallerie Commerciali's focus is on the development, promotion and management of commercial structures. The Battente shopping center is home to 75 different stores. Battente is a destination shopping centre and the main part of the customers are from either Ascoli Piceno or the immediate surrounding areas.

While the town is located along the ancient Via Salaria, this shopping center is anything but stuck in the past - rather, they are visionary pioneers who are putting their mark on the digital landscape.

Battente’s goals


Battente chose their app provider based on their goal of having an owned media that activated tenants and provided great customer experiences.

In early 2021, Battente’s management was on a mission; They were re-branding the entire center, which included everything from a new logo and identity to communication. As part of this initiative, they wanted a new digital presence, in the form of an owned media. Their goal with this was to create a strong relationship between the three stakeholders: The customers, tenants and shopping center management.

Battente is a destination shopping center and so building strong loyalty with their customers is a particularly great asset for them.


Marketing material of Centro Commerciale al Battente’s consumer app


Previously, tenant involvement had been a complicated process for everyone involved. The combination of wanting to activate tenants and a goal of providing customers with great digital experiences, while also being able to gather insights was what made Emplate their match. With a personalized experience, an integrated loyalty program and an easy to use tenant-tool, Battente would get the digital platform they’d aimed for.

Battente launched their consumer app in late October, 2021 and, despite the pandemic, they have already achieved great results.


Engaging tenants

An important step for a successful app was making tenants feel comfortable posting content.

It takes a village, or so the saying goes. In Battente’s case, this rings true, because a great asset of their app is the activity from the tenants. And, there’s a reason for this success:

With their new app, Battente has turned a common issue of low tenant engagement in marketing efforts on its head; At Battente, there’s now a continuous flow that benefits all, which contrasts the typical tug of war between tenants and center management, as many shopping centres experience.

Battente chose their new solution based on the assumption that the lack of tenants participation was due to the large effort it took for tenants to do so, the old-fashioned way.

Tenant onboarding at Centro Commerciale al Battente

From day one, the goal was to get the tenants to start using “Emplate Shop” to post content. With the importance of activating tenants in mind, the tenant onboarding was flipped on its head; From the start, the goal was to get tenants to feel comfortable using their new tool. Tenants got to play around in the tenant tool and realized that they already knew how to make posts, before even getting an introduction.

The user-friendliness of “Emplate Shop” is due to the user experience being very similar to social media platforms. At the onboarding, the tenants were shocked at how easily they could create quality content for the customers. With no extra education and only a few minutes a day, the tenants can make posts that are highly relevant to their customers.

Tenant engagement at Battente has been a success; through the joint efforts of center management and tenants, Battente can boast of having a vibrant app that’s buzzing with activity. And, their efforts are paying off, because the customers are watching. But more on that when we get to the results.


A strong launch

When all preparations had been made, it was time for the launch: The app was launched in late October 2021, with a fully loaded loyalty program, packed with exciting rewards for their customers.

The launch rewards all had “crave-ability”. The reason for this is, that rewards that provide instant gratification, like a coffee or a slice of pizza, Battente could, without a high cost to the mall, get a lot of downloads.

A main effort of Battente’s is that they’ve very active in running their loyalty program, both during launch and beyond. By ensuring it is always up to date and that there’s exciting rewards for customers to spend their loyalty points on, Battente is harvesting great results.

In mall marketing campaign of Battente’s app

The continuous focus on the loyalty program, means customers get an increased interest in visiting often, gamifying the shopping experience. This in turn makes visits even more fun and rewarding. At the same time, center management can reap the rewards, in terms of visitor numbers and valuable data and insights.

And, while the instant gratification of a welcome prize is important, what’s even more important is that customers, upon downloading, can see all the great value for them in the app. Due to efforts like a large amount of great posts, this is what happened for Battente. Let’s have a look at how it went:


Results

With great efforts come great results.

Battente has had a good start to their digital journey, and the results to match - let’s dive into a few of them:

Battente’s consumer app launched in late October, 2021. During their launch period alone, Battente achieved 3.9k downloads. Over 80% of all people who had downloaded the app during the launch period, were actively using it in December.

The impressive customer retention shows that customers are getting value from using app, beyond the initial news value from downloading it.

And, there’s a reason why customers feel this, because the app is packed with relevant content: Both Battente and the tenants are very proactive when it comes to creating posts and adding rewards in the app. So proactive in fact, that in December alone, they posted 370 posts with offers and news for the customers.

This proactiveness has been rewarded with interest and views from customers - in December, they got 439k - that is, almost half a million post views and interactions, in Battente’s app.

By gaining access to data and insights through the management system, Battene can not only use it to see how content performs, they can also use it to continually modify the way they create content.

This means they can optimize for maximum value for both customers, tenants and themselves. And, combined with data on customer demographics, they will be able to know not just what their customers like, but be able to make out more concretely who they are.


And, if we look beyond the launch period, more interesting insights become visible:



A key area has been the demographics development. Battente’s primary goal is to mainly target the local customers in Ascoli Piceno (63100) as well as the surrounding postcodes. The following results shows the postcodes of the customers using the app during the 1st and the 6th month after launch. From it, we can see a development that shows that the app is being used by the customers they’re wishing to target. With such a high percentage of the customers using the app, being from their targeted area, Battente has succeeded in having a owned media that is actively being used by their target customers.


To summarize

When Battente decided to digitalize, they did so with a goal to create a strong relationship between the three stakeholders in the shopping center. By choosing Emplate, Battente’s tenants gained access to a tool that made it easy to create posts for the app, turning a previous issue into their asset.

The great loyalty program means that the app is not just adding value through good content, but is also fun - the loyalty program and rewards gamifying the shopping experience. The result is a consumer app that creates great value and customers are making it part of their shopping experience when they visit Battente.

Now, through data and insights from the app, Battente can start to shape a real profile of their customers. This, in turn, will enable them to target their efforts effectively - both in app and in mall.

If you want to read about more shopping centres who are succeeding digitally, click here.

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