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Gaining loyalty from shoppers continues to be a challenge, particularly when retailers within the mall are the primary contact point for your shoppers. That’s where customer engagement programs come in.

BY BEN CHESSER (Read the full article in Across Magazine here)

Over the past decade, outlets and shopping centers have seen a shift, from simply renting space to shops, to being creators of shopping experiences; as a result, shoppers have come to expect more from their visits. The internet was initially perceived as a threat, but it has resulted into an opportunity for shopping centers to connect the online with the offline worlds. With so many distractions, however, gaining loyalty from shoppers continues to be a challenge, particularly when retailers within the center are the primary contact point for your shoppers. For shopping centers truly to engage their shoppers, they must first nurture their relationships with their retailers and then work together to foster shopper loyalty. Retailers also benefit from this relationship – a point that is often forgotten, particularly when it comes to shopper engagement programs.

How a Center Benefits

There are both tangible and intangible benefits of shopper engagement programs to centers. In terms of performance, shoppers within loyalty programs have shown significant increases in customer lifetime value, frequency of visit, spend amount, and average transaction volumes. A loyal shopper spends on average 15-35% more than a shopper who is not part of a program. They are likely to visit 1.9 times more per year in comparison to an average shopper.* The very nature of a loyalty program allows the center to send all of its customer communications via one clear omni-channel strategy; taking advantage of technologies such as apps, beacons, and location technology – alongside more traditional channels such as email and TV advertising – to form a powerful message resulting in more of the right shoppers coming to the center. It also allows the center to create a powerful shopping center brand strategy.

For example, take Trinity Leeds (a Land Securities property), which is at the forefront of loyalty innovation. It uses the simple strapline “Love Trinity Leeds“. They have developed a powerful brand that is known by shoppers as a must-have shopping tool, whether shoppers use their app or a plastic loyalty card – either way they are recognized and receive loyalty benefits. Another example is the program launched recently by Covent Garden (managed by Capco) with the enigmatic name “The Pass,” which uses elegant black and white branding to provide exclusive rewards to shoppers within their very unique shopping district. Both of these examples have notably succeeded brilliantly at getting their retailers involved and onboard with the program, and this has contributed to their success…

Read how the retailers benefit in the full article on Across Magazine here

About Across Magazine

ACROSS  is a leading trade medium for retail real estate in Europe and covers topics through the entire value chain of modern retail properties. The magazine is published 6 times a year and is distributed in 42 countries. ACROSS is also media partner of the most important trade fairs, events or associations of the  retail industry including: ICSC, MIPIM, MAPIC, Expo Real, as well as the national shopping centre councils all over Europe.