Malls aren’t just for shopping—and mall 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. Mall owners need to learn how to increase mall traffic to get ahead of their competition.
Basically, shopping malls must offer much more than retail 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.
Relevance of Foot Traffic in Retail
Measuring foot traffic is important for any business, but especially for retailers. By understanding the number of people who are in your store at any given time, you can glean a lot of insights into how well your marketing efforts are working, whether or not you’re staffing your shop correctly, and how to be more productive in your store.
How to Measure Retail Foot Traffic?
There are a number of different tools and methods you can use to measure foot traffic, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some common approaches include installing sensors on your storefront or in your parking lot, tracking customer purchases and email signups, analyzing reviews or social media posts, and surveying customers directly.
Ultimately, the key to understanding the foot traffic in your store is to have a clear goal in mind for what you want to learn. By understanding what information you need, you can choose the right method (or combination of methods) to get the data you need to make informed decisions about your business.
How to Increase Mall Traffic and Attract Customers?
There is a reason that businesses and other organizations closely monitor foot traffic. It provides an accurate snapshot of what people are interested in and, more importantly, where they are going. By analyzing foot traffic, companies can make informed decisions about where to allocate their resources. For example, if a company notices that most of its customers are going to the competitor down the street, it might decide to make changes in its product line or promotional efforts. Monitoring foot traffic also allows companies to identify trends and respond quickly to changing consumer habits. By staying on top of these trends, businesses can stay competitive in the marketplace and drive foot traffic. Ultimately, customer data is critical for any retail store or brick and mortar store that wants to thrive and grow over time.
How to Increase Foot Traffic and Attract Customers?
Malls and shopping centers are always looking for ways to boost foot traffic and attract customers. Customer loyalty is the number one end goal of any business and that is what your mall should target.
Here are tips to help you bring in more shoppers.
Have a Well-Maintained Store Front
Aside from having a very good brick-and-mortar location, keeping it clean and well-maintained is a huge factor.
Maintaining a clean and well-maintained storefront is crucial for any business. Not only does it make a good impression on your target audience, but it also helps keep the business running smoothly. Here are four reasons why maintaining your storefront is so important.
- First and foremost, maintaining a clean storefront is essential for creating a pleasant shopping experience for customers. A cluttered or dirty store can be off-putting and drive potential customers away.
- In addition, keeping your storefront well-maintained can help prevent costly damages to the building or other property in the area. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent mold, water damage, and other issues that can be expensive to repair.
- Maintaining a clean storefront also helps keep your business running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. This includes things like maintaining proper inventory levels, keeping signage and displays up to date, and ensuring that the checkout area is well-organized and efficient.
- Finally, maintaining a clean storefront can help boost your business’s reputation and brand image. By presenting a professional and well-maintained front to the world, you are more likely to be seen as credible and trustworthy, which can increase sales and lead to customer loyalty over time. Whether you are a small mom-and-pop shop or a large national chain, keeping your storefront clean and well-maintained is essential for success.
Please also note that different commercial landscaping property types have their own maintenance needs.
Create Gathering Spaces
Creating gathering spaces within your retail environment is a meaningful way to encourage shoppers to stay longer and enjoy the overall experience of being in your store. This can be accomplished by carving out special areas that are designed specifically for gathering and appointing those areas with comfortable seating. These gathering spaces should also be equipped with charging stations and free wi-fi, as these are must-haves for today’s retail shoppers. Inviting shoppers to relax and enjoy the environment not only encourages them to stay longer, but also creates an experience that goes beyond in-store 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. Lighting also contributes to a store’s overall ambiance, and this too can be accomplished with decor that makes use of lights.
Additional elements you can add to your gathering spaces include coffee bars, small lounge areas, ping pong tables, television screens or even charging hubs. While all of these tools are important for further enhancing the experience of shoppers, the primary goal should always be to ensure that your gathering spaces are comfortable and inviting. After all, if you don’t make your customers want to relax and stay longer, they’re not likely to spend money in those areas anyhow.
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
These photo opportunities give people a reason to come to your mall, but once people are there, you want them to explore the other stores and attractions that your mall has to offer. Creating photo opportunities is one way to do this.
An example would be setting up a holiday-themed photo booth with props in a central location. A more elaborate example would be to set up a holiday display with photo opportunities throughout the mall. You can also have themed days or weeks to offer different photo opportunities. A holiday-themed scavenger hunt is another way to attract visitors and get them to explore the entire mall. You can hide holiday items throughout the mall and give people a list of items to find and take photos to share on social media. The first person or team to find all of the items wins a prize.
Again, focus on customer experience and how your retail center can engage visitors who aren’t necessarily interested in purchasing merchandise. As such, increasing foot traffic in stores for new and repeat customers is a need for a local business and every retailer.
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 on 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
Neave Décor knows how to increase mall traffic! 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. Property enhancements and holiday lighting can attract tenants and customers to your site. Let’s start a conversation.