StoriesBlogBest practicesHow Nivy Shopping Center got 35.000 loyalty members in just 4 weeks

How Nivy Shopping Center got 35.000 loyalty members in just 4 weeks

November 29, 2021

A consumer app is a great way to increase customer lifetime value, customer loyalty, tenant engagement and footfall, just to name some of the benefits. But, how do you get a succesful launch and achieve your goals? While the answer is going to differ from shopping center to shopping center there are definitely some things to learn from shopping centers who succeed.

In this case study, we are going to have a look at the launch of Nivy Shopping Center’s app and how they managed to get 35.000 loyalty members in just 4 weeks.

Nivy Shopping Center is located in the Slovakian capital, Bratislava. The shopping center is an ambitious project that centers around being much more than just a place to do your shoppping - Nivy is a community hub with focus on nature and includes initiatives like local produce market and a green roof top with a community garden, a running track, a picnic area, kids playgrounds, workout zones and more. Nivy just opened its doors this fall and launched their consumer app. When all stores are fully open, the shopping center will be home to over 300 different stores.

Classic goal - innovative approach

By it’s very nature, Nivy’s goal for digitalizing was classic, as far as shopping centers go: they wanted to have a digital presence that was still rooted int the physical brick and mortar shopping center. Beyond that, they also wanted their customers to feel like members of a joint group - a Nivy community, if you’d like.

This however, is not a case study about a shopping center following the norm.

What sets Nivy apart is not so much what they wanted to achieve by digitalizing, but rather how they set out to do it:

Nivy has a thorough omnichannel approach, which their app plays an important part in. By having meticulous focus on all the data and insights they can gain from the different components, Nivy is able to utilize them all across to get the most impact based on their findings. A small example of how this omnichannel approach can be of great value to Nivy is that they are able to gain insights into areas like consumer behavior from the data they get from the consumer app. These insights can in turn be used several other places, like better targeted social media ads, etc.

Different content focus

Nivy doesn’t just set itself apart when it comes to their digital strategy - they also set themselves apart when it comes to tenant engagement in the app. For a lot of shopping centers, having tenants create content is to some extent the bread and butter of the consumer app - the tenants are a main driver which ensures there’s lots of content for customers to enjoy when they open the app.

For Nivy, tenants are not the corner stone of their app - they’re a bonus.

Nivy centers the app around the content that the shopping center produces, and this focus becomes evident when looking at how they’ve customized their home tab:

Ahoj Nivy! - Nivy's consumer app

The home tab has been customized so that the first 3 rows on the home tab are all made up of posts made by Nivy themselves. This approach means that Nivy has better control and can decide that they want the app to first and foremost be centered around the loyalty program, rather than offers from the tenants. Furthermore, the visual identity of Nivy is visible, not just in the look of the app, but also throughout the post they create, providing consumers with a unified experience.

Having tenants provide the bulk of the content and featuring it to a larger extent than Nivy is a good idea for a lot of malls and comes with the benefit of lessening some of the workload for center management, when it comes to content creation. However, Nivy's approach proves beneficial to them as it comes with the independence of not relying as much on the tenants and what content the tenants want to post, in order to keep the customers’ interest. And, as Nivy’s focus is creating loyalty program and information posts, what they do is highly relevant for the customers which means they get the bulk of the post views in contrast to the tenant posts, despite Nivy posting substantially less than the tenants.

Tier based loyalty

Incorporating a loyalty program into a consumer app is, as a whole, a great idea - it keeps customers interested and increases loyalty and footfall. As we mentioned before, Nivy wanted their visitors to feel part of a community, and the loyalty program is key for doing so, while also reaping the benefits it offers, which is why it’s the core focus of Nivy’s consumer app.

What also sets Nivy apart is how the loyalty program is tier based:

With tier based loyalty, customers not only get points for visiting the shopping center, but also for completing different actions decided by Nivy. And, when customers have earned enough points, they get to level up. The effect of tier based loyalty is that customers have a goal to strive towards, in terms of leveling up and getting to the level 2 or 3 prizes. This gamification of the consumer app means that customers are inclined to visit more often and shape the customer behavior in a way Nivy would like, such as explore certain parts of the shopping center, all while having a good time and feeling that Nivy values them.

The results of a successful launch

In hindsight, it was an even better decision to have chosen Emplate - The Mall Engagement Platform as the solution for our digital mall project than we could initially have imagined.”
Peter Terpak
Group Marketing & PR Director
HB Reavis

The consumer app was launched in the fall of 2021, just as Nivy openend its doors for the first time. Because of this, not all stores were opened from the start, and they were therefore also not in the app yet. However, that did not stop the Nivy app from achieving great results at launch:

High customer activity and retention

Getting downloads is great and important for a consumer app to thrive, but what’s also key is that the customers not just download the app and then only use it once, but rather that it becomes an integral part of their shopping experience. Customer retention and activity is where it’s at as it proves that the app is not just eye-catching, but improves customer experiences and ads value for them.

When we compare the numbers of monthly downloads with the numbers of monthly active users in the graphs above, what we can see is that as October had almost 30.000 monthly active users and 25.000 downloads. What this means is that essentially all of the 5.000 users that downloaded in the last few days of September, when Nivy launched the app, didn’t just download it as a one time thing the first time they visited the mall - it shows us that there is an impressive retention rate as customers comes back to it and uses the app as part of their shopping experience in Nivy.

To summarize

As we said in the beginning, no two shopping centers are the same. Nivy stands as a clear example of this with their innovative approach to everything from their extensive omnichannel approach that strengthens their digital presence, having a self-reliant approach to app content to their tier based loyalty program, which gamifies the customer experience, creates a sense of community and makes customers want to visit and use the app again and again.

But, while Nivy’s approach to reaching their goals was different, Nivy’s goal of having a digital presence that was rooted in the brick and mortar shopping center while creating a sense of community for their customers was in and of itself was very classic for most shopping centers when digitalizing. Therefore, Nivy stands as an example of, not just that the concrete solutions they have chosen are successful, but how you with creative thinking can achieve what many shopping centers set out to do in the way that best fits your shopping center.

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