Situation #1: You have introduced a new product in the Mall. This is Friday and you are expecting that the newest launch will receive immense response. However, you witness that rate of response is far from expectation and in many cases, customers with the highest probability of purchasing the product aren’t going for it.
Situation #2: It’s the beginning of Holiday season. So, you have planned for a massive sales at the mall. You realize that despite impressive customer turnout sales performance is not up the mark. In many cases, customers haven’t responded to the hottest promotions and went for some other products that are not offering much facilitating discounts. Overall customer experience is not satisfactory.
What is the common thread in these two situations, mentioned above? Communication problem! You are doing everything you could to provide customers with the necessary information that they will find usable and in turn, would contribute to better profiteering opportunity for the mall. What you are failing to understand that processes followed to communicate with customers are traditional and not effective anymore in the age of digitization and technological advancement.
Most of the Shopping Malls are still sticking to the traditional promotional instruments that involve flyers, posters and other typical marketing methods. Though many retailers feel there is nothing wrong with these methods, they are actually denying how increasingly tech savvy the customers are and how positively they appreciate personalized interaction or communication with their favorite brands. Assortment of flyers, posters, banners and announcements over microphone not only make it difficult for customers to focus on finding the products they want but in turn affect potential of a shopping mall in converting footfalls to conversions.
Leaving behind the traditional model of product promotion is a big decision for shopping malls. Smart technology and social presence are two things that give the big push.
First, it is high time that brick-and-mortar retailers come out of the misconception that social media presence is benefitting only for ecommerce companies. Modern customers prefer multichannel marketing, which means that information about products, matching their buying preference, should be available through several channels. They should be the ultimate decider in choosing which channel is convenient for them and at what time. To make social presence of your mall more persuasive to customers you need to fulfill certain requisites, such as:
- If your mall doesn’t have a website yet, get on with it.
- If you haven’t created your (mall’s) profiles on leading social media networks, don’t delay anymore.
- Started posting promotions yet? No!! Do start today and make sure that promotions are creative, unique and capable of drawing customer attention.
- Allow customers to express their reactions after visiting your mall. Encourage them to share the information on the profile itself. In case of negative reactions, follow up, solve the issue and ask them whether they are satisfied with the solution. In case of positive feedback, always thank and ask for their support in future. And don’t forget to promote your customers, while they are in-store. Convey to them that your efforts are mere expression of gratitude.
- Provide customers with the opportunity to interact among themselves. In this way, your promotional efforts become more popular and customers also stay updated about the latest happening things at store.
Don’t forget that your primary goal, despite being a brick-and-mortar establishment, is to entice customers with multi-channel fulfillment. Some of your customers may prefer being notified over text messages, some prefer email reminders, and others prefer social media follow ups or appreciate calls from the store. Your social presence functions as a comprehensive touchpoint that delivers you with valuable customer information, such as
- Product choice
- Services they find satisfactory
- In-store purchasing tendency
- Contact information
You can integrate the social channel with store analytics and in due course, the analytics results will deliver almost-perfect information that you can use to create superior promotional campaigns and deliver the same in digitized format to the targeted audience as a way of personalized communication.
Deploying technologically advanced methods within shopping malls has made it simpler for Retailers in delivering digitized promotional messages to customers. While retail analytics system of the mall helps businesses to determine their targeted audience based on demography, purchasing habits, and budgetary capacity, on the other hand, proximity sensors function as agents in channelizing promotional notifications to the right customer, real-time. The proximity sensing technology not only helps customers but also marketers and store assistants keep receiving valuable details about inventory status, product sections that need urgent replenishment, in-depth knowledge about a particular product and other factors that play important roles in swifter decision making.
Deploying heat map in shopping malls is one of the most effective methods in ensuring advanced customer management and trouble shooting. For instance, a particular section of you store suddenly starts attracting customers, more than average. Heat mapping will deliver real-time information to marketers and it will help the store to deploy more store attendants to manage customers and attend them personally in that very section. Heat map is also used to measure customer’s overall time spent in the mall and can be contrasted with his/her presence in a particular store. Based on the data, necessary actions can be taken to incite his decision making process, deliver him with relevant promotional offers and convert the visit to sales. Furthermore, over behavioral analysis, heat mapping allows retailers to find out immediately which of their promotional strategies are delivering desired results and which aren’t. Accordingly, they can make real-time changes to their promotional strategies.
Social Presence and Technology: The Unfailing Money Making Combo
No matter who you are or where you are, combining social presence and technology is a must, provided you are keen to make money. Your social presence will function as the window to know customers better and in creating more touchpoints. Once you have the necessary information, analytics will create the necessary insights and technology will channelize the right information, real-time to the right person. This is exactly what customers want. They receive contextually right information at the right time. They witness how you are making use of smart technology to connect with them better. They appreciate your personalized approaches. Finally, they generate conversions in return of your favor. Make social presence and technology work for you and keep ready the grounds in leading the future of Retail.