Emplate, the leading shopping center digital marketing platform in Europe, gives us the three essential customer insights shopping centers need to succeed in 2022.
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, Emplate investigates 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, to attract customers’ attention. But, that is 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.
They might have previously achieved great results with commercials – so, why change now something that isn’t broken?”
Let us take a look at the numbers:
The graph is showing a clear tendency, that every year, people are getting more annoyed at commercials and, at the same time, fewer people are positively impacted by them.
Even if traditional marketing channels have worked for shopping malls up until now, the tendency is unquestionable; their impact and customers’ opinion of them are on a strong decline.
This is why it is important to move towards more targeted and personalized customer communication. But it is also 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:
- It is where customers spend their time (mainly on mobile);
- Digital platforms have the option to collect customer insights and data.
Customer Insights are Essential
In order to provide customers with a personalized experience, shopping malls need to know who they are and what they like. For that, they need customer insights, such as:
- Distance to mall
Malls usually cover a very broad target group. By having insight into their customers’ age, gender, and distance to the mall, it becomes possible for them to create rough segments.
2. Customer Interests and Preferences
Demographics are important, but they do not tell us everything about a person and what interests them. After all, while Michelle Obama is the same age as Nicolas Cage, it does not 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.
3. Customer Loyalty and Profitability
The final and most important group of data is the insights that show how loyal and profitable each customer is for a mall, such as:
- 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. This will help to segment customers based on how often they visit and how much they buy.
The Win-Win Agreement
In order to get permission from customers to use and collect their data, the mall has to provide them something in return, some sort of value for information.
Value drivers in shopping centers could be:
- Increased convenience;
- Increased relevance in communication;
- Access to extra savings.
The most straightforward way to collect data is through digital shopping mall concepts such as mobile apps. This way, 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 be able to just login into an app and give the mall permission to access their personal information in order to get the benefits of a loyalty program or to get a personalized feed from their favorite stores.
With concepts like these, the shopping center can gain access to all three types of customer insights and will be able to shift its focus from mass marketing to personalized communication.
Naturally, it will be impossible to capture every single customer that visits the mall. But, the more popular the mall’s app becomes, the more customer insights can be collected.
The Final Step – How to Use the Insights?
Now that we have uncovered what insights are essential and why they are so important for shopping centers to know, it is important to ensure that it is utilized as efficiently as possible.
In order to achieve the most success with the insights collected, the platform the mall uses needs to also support:
Access to Content
In order to shift from mass marketing to personalized, it is essential for the mall to create personalized marketing content for its customers.
Rather than having one large segment with a generic message, the mall’s digital platform needs to generate a lot of small segments, each with a different message.
Integrate into Existing Digital Communication Channels
It is important to share the mall’s content on social media and via a newsletter, in order to increase marketing impact and attract new customers. But the mall’s digital platform needs to also make it easy to share this content around the web to save time.
Build Segments and Automation
The mall’s digital platform should allow to set up segments based on the customer insights collected and it needs to support automation so the process of getting the right content pushed to the right segments is automatic. This will cut down manual work for the mall’s marketing team.
The Ultimate Guide
The digitalization of shopping centers has become a rather complex topic. With hundreds of new technologies and prop-tech solutions emerging, decision-makers are facing new challenges.
Emplate gathered their experience from working with dozens of malls to provide clarity on the broad spectrum of digital options for shopping centers and created a guide you can download:
GETTING IN TOUCH WITH EMPLATE
Emplate has helped many shopping centers across Europe to improve their digital presence and you can read about the success stories HERE.
If your shopping center is ready to create a powerful mobile app and win over visitors using online tools, book an appointment now for a demo HERE.