❖ Mall story on customer insights
Malls in India are engaging visitors by providing them interactive, personalise and customize services:
Today mall visitors are very well informed about fashion, prevailing trends and quality. The exposure to global fashion, taste and lifestyle has made people more conscious and informed while making a purchase decision.
The youth population is growing in India. They are becoming more brand conscious and desire a better standard of living. The rise in the aspirational middle class and their spending habits, purchasing power is also the crucial factor for the rise in the retail industry in India. Other factors such as rising internet penetration of the retailers offering a high-class shopping experience, rapid real estate infrastructure development, new product innovation, growing interest of investors have wedged the retail industry to a significant extent.
The concept of shopping malls is still evolving rapidly and adjusting to the everchanging market and consumer dynamics. Malls have now become a community centre where individuals spend a lot of time with family and friends, shopping on an e-commerce more often than not is a lonely affair. The mall culture is here to stay as long as the mall developers identify the changing dynamics and make changes to their offering.
Malls today are not a place to sell product and services, but malls also assist visitor in taking a purchase decision. In addition to this, malls need to provide a high element of interactivity through a dedicated focus on unique experiential content. Personalization and customization are also the key buzz words for today’s mall.
Rima Pradhan, Sr. Vice President, Marketing at Viviana Mall commented on the customer behaviour pattern: “We try and understand the customer’s behavioral pattern. Which are the brands the customer is interested? Which category is he/she likes the most? Which are the restaurants they normally visit? How frequently they watch movie at our 4DX enabled multiplex inside the mall? Overall, we analyse the trend in their underlying mindsets, motivations, desires, moods, and aspirations, that can create a better customer engagement mechanism for us.”
In the feedback mechanism, Viviana Mall came to know that many customers were looking for a bookstore brand as they didn’t find a suitable place when it comes to books in the vicinity and hence they had opened Crossword in the mall.
Rima Pradhan added on the contest run for the customers: “Through our feedback mechanism we came to know that, how our new additions in brands like Soda Bottle Openerwala, Crossword, The Irish House and Asics has been appreciated through a contest run during our event in Christmas last year.”
Rima Pradhan gives importance to feedback mechanism for new additions
SOURCES FOR CUSTOMER INSIGHT
The data collected by malls is useful to build consumer personas, which is useful for the marketing team. Gajendra Singh Rathore, Centre Director at Phoenix Marketcity Bangalore commented on the sources for the customer insights: “By knowing who our core market is, we can make some general assumptions about product, marketing, etc. To make more accurate predictions about customer needs and preferences, we collect consumer data
at various points such as customer data from retailers. Various brands present in the mall help us to collate useful insights on customer purchasing patterns and customer profiling.”
Vivana Mall makes more accurate predictions about customer needs and preferences, collect consumer data at various points such as social media analysis. The mall is very active on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. At the same time Viviana Mall’s website is designed in a way that it is more interactive and provides easy browsing experience. The number of hits for products, services, events and initiatives undertaken by Viviana on the website and social media platforms help mall to analyse customer insights.
Vivana Mall has introduced feedback through a tablet located at the customer service touch points across the mall to ensure smoother and efficient process. Rima speaks on the raffle coupons to measure customers likes and dislikes: “We also have raffle coupons which also helps us to comprehend customer’s likes and dislikes. The data we collect allows us to build consumer personas that our marketing team identifies with. By knowing who your core market is, we can make some general assumptions about product, marketing, etc.” The mall conducts research amongst customers, attract them to share their views through contests and quizzes through both online and offline channels and gauge which brands, products, services, etc has created better impact on them.
HUMAN INTELLIGENCE OR IT INTELLIGENCE
IT intelligence helps in pointing directions, human intelligence will help ascertain the reason. Being in the service industry malls have to deal with both practical and emotional conclusions, hence mechanism to understand customer insight is also designed in a manner that it includes both the angles.
Nishank Joshi, Chief Marketing Officer at Nexus Malls shares an example about the use of IT for customer survey: “IT helps in understanding consumption pattern of the customers. We are looking at the better selling SKU’S to see, if there was a trend or a style that was making them perform better. We have realized that the highest selling SKU’S of the better performing brands were the ones that have big bold logos.”
FUTURE OF MALLS
E-commerce and shopping malls in India will co-exist and be complementing each other. The future of retail is Omnichannel. Omnichannel strategy will enable retailers to re-think their business strategy in order to tap the best of both worlds and maximise on footfalls.
Malls could opt to implement O2O (Online-to-offline) offerings in order to help retailers raise their offline sales. Most Asian mall operators are adjusting their tenant mix, but O2O offerings are still in an infant stage of development.
Nishank Joshi Nishank Joshi believes that IT facilitates insights into customer consumption patterns
Gajendra Singh Rathore focuses on customer data from retailers for accurate predictions