StoriesBlogBest practicesHow shopping malls can increase footfall with relevant online marketing

How shopping malls can increase footfall with relevant online marketing

March 21, 2019

Your customers are individuals – Treat them this way!

All customers are individuals, and that’s how they want to be perceived – unique

When it comes to marketing, customers like offers that are relevant for them specifically. Customers find relevant marketing helpful because it’s inspirational, or helps to find the product thats right for them – but not necessarily others. McKinsey & Company elaborates further on this.

Personalised marketing has a positive impact on the shopping experience, and as a positive shopping experience increase loyalty to your mall – it’s a tactic to consider.

But how do you create personalised marketing in your mall? In this post I will show examples on how we do it.

How customers research products (The short version)

According to a report from the digital research institute Forrester, 50% of all customers do a thorough product research before going to the mall – a percentage expected to increase in the coming years.

The above research shows how importing it is for your mall to be present during this pre-purchasing research phase. Personalised marketing will help you with this.

The two routes for inspiration

At the first stage of the buying process customers only have a sporadic idea of what they need – it can be as unspecific as a new pair of boots.

Therefore customers want to be inspired and find out what the market can offer.

The two main routes are:

1. Via Google or a retailers website

2. Open an app that inspires them

Let’s look at two examples.

Researching via web

When customers open Google and type in “winter boots for women” they are met by a screen similar to this:

As you can see, the first block is filled with picture ads. This gives the first inspirational moment. However, the process of jumping back and forth between various retailers’ websites is a time consuming task.

Therefore, many consumers have switched to starting the research directly on a retailer’s page, and this is when your mall’s website becomes important.

To accommodate this, large retailers like Zalando have made it easy to filter and browse in all their products. (See below)

You can do the same for your shopping mall – it’s not that hard

Your mall can do the same to help customers get an overview of what relevant offers are currently available.

Here you see how the Danish mall Waves have assembled all the women’s clothes currently running as campaigns from the different retailer – as one out of many examples.

Please also check out how well they are using the website to remind customers to download or open their loyalty app.

This gives customers that prefer researching via web quick access to an inspirational platform of local products.

I will come back to how you personalise this process even further.

Researching via App

Our research shows that customers on average open their shopping mall app 1.7 times on days that they visit the mall.

Here they use apps that give them a quick inspirational overview of new relevant products.

Here are two examples – One from JD Sport and one from herningCentret (running on the Emplate platform)

The insights you need to create personalised marketing

So now that we have looked at the two platforms customers use for research, it’s time to talk about how you personalise your marketing.

In order to personalise marketing it’s necessary for you to collect the right customer insights. This is an area where malls have limited possibilities compared to e-commerce, which is why we put so much effort into helping malls gather sufficient consumer insights.

By using Emplate solutions malls will know:

  • How customers research before going to the mall
  • Which stores customers like
  • Which products the customers like
  • How the customers move around the mall
  • How far the customers live from the mall
  • How often the customer visits the mall
  • The customers age, gender, e-mail and phone number

As you see, the list is long, but these insights are necessary to create personalised marketing in your mall.

If you would like to know how we gather these consumer insights I recommend you read this case study: How a leading shopping mall gathers consumer insights.

Examples of personalized mall marketing

The magic of personalised marketing is that in most cases customers don’t even recognise that the messages are tailored to them, they just like the relevance. Therefore, it’s also hard to find good examples of personalised messages that are more than putting a name into a mass mail.

But in this next section I explain how malls use our solutions to create personalised marketing across most of their medias.

I will show you how they personalise:

  • App content
  • Facebook Ads
  • Website content
  • In mall push messages

How to personalise app content

When customers start using a mall app created by Emplate we tell them to filter between the stores that they would like to see campaigns from as part of the on-boarding flow. (see video below – those who know me can comfirm I really like a medium/rare steaks, so great thing our system works)

This manoeuvre is how we collect insight on which stores customers like and which they don’t – an insight that will be important later.

However the main reason we do this is to be sure that customers only see offers and events from stores they actually care about. This ensures that customer’s feed will personalise based on their preferences.

Try to compare the below video with the one showing the feed a little above.

A few years ago we tested this approach by comparing it to showing offers from all stores. Customers told us they found the app more relevant after we made the filter, and at the same time retention rates went up rapidly.

Now I will show you how you use this information to make better Facebook Ads.

Personalised Facebook Ads

I’m sure you already have tried to create Facebook Ads with an audience based on your persona. I hope it worked okay, but with the data from above you can create audiences that will be based on customers preferences and behaviour –  not just a persona.

This leads to much higher engagement, and therefore also lower Ad prizes.

Let’s take an example.

Example: How to use personalized Facebook Ads to attract existing customers.

The retailer Gamestop have an offer on the new Xbox but only in the local mall.

Because we know which stores customers prefer we can extract all customers that like Gamestop and live close to your mall.

Then all existing customers at Gamestop will see the Ad. This will narrow down your audience, but also make the Ad increase in relevance.

But it doesn’t stop here. Now let’s look at how you use the insights to attract new customers to your events.

Example: How to use personalised Facebook Ads to attract new customers to your event

When launching events most malls advertise broad, on many platforms to ensure they hit the right target group. However, with customer insights from your mall combined with Facebook look a like Ads, you can target the 1% that are most likely to come to your event.

herningCentret, a mall with 80 stores, have created a new indoor playground, and would like to inform parents with children about it.

Therefore, they create an audience containing:

All customers who prefer stores with children’s clothes or toys and create a Facebook audience. Now they have an audience of current customers.

Then they create a look-a-like audience based on the audience.

Then herningCentret will have an audience of the 1% of people who looks like their current customers.

This audience will most likely love the event just as much as current customers, because it’s relevant to them.

NB: A look-a-like audience is an audience of people that looks the most like your current audience. Find extended information about look-a-like audiences here.

Personalized web content

Today most shopping mall websites are static and have very little traffic. However that’s going to change in the coming months – here’s a good example.

Example: How herningCentret highlights new offers on the frontpage

At herningCentret they show new available offers directly on the front page. (See video below)

Today these offers are randomised, but they can easily be personalised to fit the customer when they enters any page of the website through an Ad from ex. Facebook or Google.

It can be done by putting a UTM code in the Ad. This way the website will know which segment the customer belongs to, and all offers on the website will transform to relevant offers. Then customers won’t have to scroll through irrelevant offers, but will be inspired as soon as they enter the website.

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