Multichannel Strategies for Malls

June 30th, 2014 by Azur Digital

By adopting multichannel strategies, malls can offer rewarding shopping experiences to the connected consumers. Digital technologies and customer oriented marketing provide mall operators with new means to increase footfall and become more relevant to their retailers.

Loyalty programs: creating returning mall traffic

A loyalty approach enables a mall to develop a valuable customer database and share marketing operation efforts among its brands. Mall operators such as Unibail worldwide and So Ouest or Qwartz in Paris created simple but very effective loyalty programs. Their objective is to bring more loyal traffic to their retail clients and mutualize digital efforts on the web and mobile.

In Europe, these loyalty programs mostly base their marketing promise on services and benefits such as free parking, private sales as well as coupons and discounts.

The objective is to create distinctive services and offers that make customers feel valued and incentivized to frequently engage with the mall and its brands. Even premium malls, such as Le Bon Marché, are introducing loyalty programs to enable personalized communication with their customers.

So Ouest Card has a premium positioning. In addition to coupons and discounts, members can enjoy 2-hour free parking, a personal shopper for free during 1.5 hours and shopping valet service at discounted rates. It is also available on the mall’s mobile app, coupling promotions with mall directory and map services.

Deploying digital experiences to entertain and seduce customers

According to Forrester Research, 49.7% of US retail sales are influenced by the web (8.4% via e-commerce and 41.3% through ROPO – Research Online, Purchase Offline).

Malls increasingly try to merge physical and digital worlds by building omnichannel experiences in order to make shopping more interactive and social. The goal is to make customers stay longer and spend more in malls by improving the shopping experience and enhancing the customer journey.

Whilst drawing mall visitors’ attention through new digital experiences is traditionally fairly easy to achieve, generating incremental sales requires more complex and structured efforts.

It all starts with a sophisticated and coordinated use of cross-channel direct marketing to communicate over retailers’ brands and promotions. This requires social media and mobile to become important pillars of malls’ digital strategies.

Customer behaviour knowledge and advanced analytics capabilities are of vital importance to effectively direct marketing investments and ensure mall retailers yield the expected returns on campaigns.
This is a significant opportunity for a mall operator with a loyalty program in place.

Offering mall retailers multichannel capabilities

Qwartz mall in Paris (Altarea group) has a dedicated futuristic area with e-commerce kiosks retailers can rent. This enables them to sell at a premium mall without requiring costly and long-term real estate investments.

Through offering e-commerce capabilities with mutualized services (logistics, call centre, Marketing Service Provider…), mall operators enable their clients to complement their brick & mortar operations. This allows them to implement compelling multichannel commerce strategies without having to invest in costly platforms and online marketing.

Often through acquisitions or partnerships with e-tailers such as Altera and RueduCommerce or Hammerson and VentePrivee in France, mall operators exploit synergies and tap into large online customer databases.

This experience is further enhanced in the mall with kiosks, coupons, free wifi, mobile apps and push messages, which enable malls to offer consumers a relevant and rewarding shopping experience upon entering the mall. Here too, a mall loyalty program is an asset which can ensure the right brand and marketing message are pushed to the customer, when brands positioning can be heterogeneous.


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