Malls aren’t just for shopping—and retail property owners realize that to compete with e-commerce and a growing digital ecosystem where brands are pushing their online presence, the “shopping mall” as we’ve traditionally known it needs to change.
Basically, shopping malls must offer much more than stores. According to a McKinsey report, The Future of the Shopping Mall, consumers visiting malls are looking for experiences that go beyond traditional shopping. Malls can’t compete with the convenience of online shopping. But, they can do something much more powerful: Create a sense of community.
As the McKinsey report notes, “Malls need to move in a different direction, away from commoditized shopping experiences and toward a broadened value proposition for consumers.”
But what does that look like? What decor could you add to your property to entice shoppers to visit? Here are five ways to engage guests and boost your mall business.
Create Gathering Spaces
Carve out spaces designed especially for gathering and appoint those areas with comfortable seating. Think of these spots as mini cafes equipped with charging stations and, of course, free wi-fi. (That’s a must for retailers today.) Inviting shoppers to relax and enjoy the environment not only encourages them to stay—but also to have an experience that goes beyond shopping. Guests are attracted to appealing spaces, and lighting decor is one way to accomplish that. “Everyone loves the huge tree we put in our common areas,” said one respondent of a 2019 Christmas Decor study of businesses from the property management and shopping mall industry.
Host Community Events
Invite the local high school choir to perform, or offer to host a dance recital. You’ll attract families and friends of the performers—not to mention, you’ll create an atmosphere of community. Guests who come with the purpose of watching a performance will likely stay for a bite to eat. You’ve got them in the door, so now you can offer a memorable experience.
Decorate your property with commercial holiday decor to create a festive environment during community performances. According to the Christmas Decor study, 97.5% of malls got a positive ROI on their holiday display investment.
Create Photo Opportunities
Having a mall Santa is pretty much a standard and a great way to attract visitors. You can also draw visitors to other areas of your mall with multiple attractions that are perfect for photo opportunities. Again, focus on customer experience and how your retail center can engage visitors who aren’t necessarily interested in purchasing merchandise.
Rather than eschewing digital transformation, progressive shopping malls are embracing the power of technology and creating deeper connections with consumers because of it. For example, social media can generate buzz about new stores or events taking place at the mall. Post status updates featuring pictures of the large Christmas tree in your mall or a spectacular light show. (According to the Christmas Decor survey, a large lit tree is the most popular item in a display.) Ultimately, barriers between the digital and physical are blurring, and retailers that embrace this will attract and engage shoppers.
Enhance Your Retail Property with Neave Décor
We want to help you increase your shopping mall traffic and stay relevant so you can thrive in the community. Aside from these ideas, we have other strategies in mind to attract guests to your property and increase its value. Landscape enhancements and holiday lighting can attract tenants and customers to your site. Let’s start a conversation.