❖ Mall story on cus­tomer in­sights

Malls in In­dia are en­gag­ing vis­i­tors by pro­vid­ing them in­ter­ac­tive, per­son­alise and cus­tomize ser­vices:

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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.

IN­TER­AC­TIVE EN­VI­RON­MENT

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

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