We actually wrote this article about 3 years and some of what’s on here is still relevant today. Have a good read.
With some consumers currently hesitant on spending due to the aforementioned current economic situation, there is no better time to invest in marketing that will always keep products and brands in consumer’s sight such that it works on their subconscious when about to make purchases. The decision to purchase for most may require high involvement or advisory, and what better way to assist the consumer than with consistent relevant messages targeted at them on the different media platforms they are active on. Options such as digital advertising are at the disposal of those eager to use them. Parties must ensure they hire professionals that will deploy resources to effective use, employing appropriate channels.
Data sharing is also crucial here. Data analytics can be used to optimize the time visitors are spending at the mall or help tailor specific offerings based on shopper trends. Retailers ought to have data at the micro level (store specific), and the mall management at the macro level (general visitor specific) such as dwell times and sales per M2 by category. The database must be able to answer questions such as shopper demographics, fastest moving product, amongst others. A retailer may be shocked to find out that foot traffic is not the store’s issue but the conversion of feet to sales.
Investing in staff that happens to be the face of the business is also essential because the ability to convert or close a sale or having consumers walk out and go next door to competition is the least desired outcome a retailer would welcome, particularly during these times. Consumers are looking for human interaction, rapport, relationship, and experience when they purchase an item. Sales assistants must deliver on experience and product knowledge which gets people talking positively about a retailer’s business and much more.
To succeed and simultaneously keep current customers, retailers and landlords must approach the scene with a collaborative approach as previously mentioned in our last article and implement strategies that will mitigate challenges to the barest minimum adopting various best practices to prevail in the current circumstances. They have to offer more convenience in terms of superior logistics, pricing, customer service, or location. Owners/Landlords on their own part, can cut deals with tenants for easy start-ups and rent to assist current tenants through the doldrums of the current economic conditions.
No matter what the shopping mall concept is, consumers, crave a physical, affordable, one-stop shop for retail and entertainment, where they can engage and connect at their convenience. And an organized retail setting like malls that provide adequate parking, good security, a range of shops, merchandise and services in a clean, safe and secure environment meets these needs.
As shopping malls are becoming prominent in consumer culture and consciousness, developers and retailers face huge prospects if they activate communities and become a central gathering space for consumers. Though it may sound simplistic, the winners at the end of the day are the ones tweaking the marketing mix to reflect the current circumstances as the economy takes the path of recovery. Over the last decade, no fewer than 15 shopping malls have opened to the public and more are coming up. Nigeria has the opportunity now to become world-class in shopping and this will entail the roll out of shopping malls sooner rather than later.