Pocketstop Announces 20 Ways to Bring Shoppers Back to Malls
As COVID-19-related social distancing restrictions ease around the United States, malls across the country are now facing a new challenge: bringing risk-averse shoppers back after a year of online ordering and curbside pickup. A key: constant communication in the modern methods today’s shoppers prefer, says “20 Shopping Center Marketing Ideas to Bring Back Foot Traffic,” a new white paper released by Pocketstop. The PropTech company provides solutions designed to drive audience behavior and provide actionable data to shopping center companies, among other clients.
Audience segmentation — for both current and prospective customers — will allow you to improve the personalization of services offered and thus generate more foot traffic from those who will see that their specific needs can be met by your shopping center.
shopping centers must combine the ability to deliver personalized messages to shoppers, streamline their multichannel marketing efforts and demonstrate marketing’s ROI, the report says.
“Malls were already facing challenges before the pandemic in the light of e-commerce, which is why we produced a white paper in early 2020 that offered recommendations regarding bringing shoppers in by forming strong relationships with brands and stores,” observed Daniel Wagstaff, CEO of Pocketstop. “COVID-19 disrupted these relationships further when non-essential stores were closed for public safety. Now, as life and business are slowly returning to normal, we felt it was imperative to update our data-driven conclusions to help our clients reconnect with their consumers and make them feel safe returning to malls.”
The 20 ideas include: creating a strong online presence to connect with the customer; maintaining a well-segmented database to implement a comprehensive communication strategy; implementing text message marketing strategies; investing in wellness programs including informing shoppers of steps being taken to ease their concerns and segmenting the audience, both for current and prospective customers.
A strong online presence, the white paper notes, recognizes that even the reported two in three (64%) of Americans who still prefer to shop in physical stores want information about centers via the internet. The information can work both ways, as the same channels should allow the center to gather feedback to create personalized messaging based on detailed shopper profiles. Social media must be kept updated, but “Don’t rely on social media alone for broadcasting important messages or information you want your customers to see in a short amount of time,” the report warns.
That’s why a comprehensive omnichannel communication strategy is vital.
“Being able to broadcast your message at the right time and reach a wide audience cost-effectively are two of the most important prerequisites for success,” the report said. “Without a comprehensive communication strategy, implemented through a modern solution with a wide array of features, getting in touch with customers and informing them about your offers is highly difficult.”
Perhaps nothing is more critical for 2021 than investing in wellness strategies and keeping the customer informed about them.
“Creating an identity for your center that speaks of a place that can cater to the wellness needs of consumers will significantly increase your position in the industry and get people to visit your shopping mall,” the report said. “Leverage this by informing them of steps you’re taking to ease their mind as you welcome them back.”
All of this can only be communicated to the shopper via a sophisticated, highly segmented database. Pocketstop is the creator of M360, a full-circle marketing software solution that, unique to the retail real estate industry, brings together a customer’s email and text message information into one highly-flexible database. This will allow marketers to choose how to contact and forge relationships with consumers — and analyze the results more easily and comprehensively.
“Audience segmentation — for both current and prospective customers — will allow you to improve the personalization of services offered and thus generate more foot traffic from those who will see that their specific needs can be met by your shopping center,” the report observed. “Make sure that all your customer data information is thorough and up-to-date so you can send them messages that are timely and relevant to them.”