DLF Shopping Malls have been leading the retail and entertainment space by constantly innovating to stay ahead of the curve and to ensure superior experience to customers.
“We aim to create India’s biggest Phygital market places with our offerings across portfolio including DLF Promenade, DLF-Mall of India, DLF Place Saket and Cyber Hub,” says Harshvardhan Singh Chauhan, Central Head of Marketing & Phygital at DLF Shopping Malls.
He adds, “In terms of services, our malls have been made friendly to appeal different kind of consumer segments. For the last one year, each of these properties have gone ahead of the curve to be digitally advanced and taking the Phygital journey to the next level.”
Improving Customer Experience
DLF is committed to offering a holistic experience to all guests that extends well beyond a transactional relationship of simply offering the widest range of brands under one roof.
According to Chauhan: “We want every guest to feel special and well taken care of. Our customer service is our biggest competitive advantage and the collaboration with Uber is an important step in the pipeline that will take consumer experience to the next level. Our last collaboration with Uber led to a substantial increase in footfalls to all our malls, inspiring us to collaborate once again with more facilities and options to make the travel experience truly seamless for our guests, irrespective of whether they have the app or not.”
DLF has once again collaborated with Uber Cabs to offer every guest a hassle free and convenient commute experience. Under the collaborated offer, commuters will be offered Uber Experience zones at DLF Place Saket and CyberHub which will be manned to facilitate booking of Uber cabs for non-users, enabling them to enjoy a hassle free ride back home.
Furthermore, DLF Malls will have UBER Pickup Zones too to create a seamless commute experience, uninterrupted by incessantly long waiting time. This time, Uber has introduced new discounted fares for the commuters from DLF shopping malls for a whooping period of next six months.
“We have also collaborated with SBI and ICICI which enables consumers to have bigger discounts, when they are shopping. Along with this, the deeper integration players like PayTM and other payment solution providers will provide superior payment convenience to the shoppers,” says Chauhan.
“All these initiatives on a holistic perspective have enabled us to take the consumer experience to the next level and we will continue with the same vision as we go further,” adds Chauhan.
Marketing is an important tool to attract customers to malls. Over a period of time, marketing strategies of malls has completely transformed, primarily in two ways – one: marketing has become more data centric and second: it has become more business and ROI related.
Whereas earlier marketing was used largely to create noise and impact, now it is completely driven towards impacting matrices like higher conversions, taking the average transaction value up, to be able to work constantly and repeated percentages to ensure that the consumers are much better engaged through initiatives.
Highlighting the marketing initiatives taken by DLF, Chauhan says, “In last one year, DLF has opened a couple of verticals which have grown up to take the market initiatives to next level. We have started aligning and integrating ourselves to the larger ecosystem like Uber, ICICI, SBI, OLA et al., to jointly solve consumer-centric problems – whether it is related to commuting, payments etc., and to come together to provide consumer-centric solutions.”
“Also, we have consistently endeavoured to launch more digital products. Huber, an Artificial Intelligence based app which helps in navigating through the physical space while adding to the ‘discoverability’ of the property for customers though mobile phones, is the product which we launched last year. We are making sure to keep our millennials and customers connected over Internet, mobile, and other devices, as large part of consumer acquisition is happening from that end,” he adds.
In terms of acquisition of customers, DLF is also focusing more towards Phygital acquisition rather than physical.
According to Chauhan: “Our digital technology products vertical is working continuously towards churning out newer Phygital products towards consumers. Even our entire strategies in terms of media has changed a lot, where we are trying to focus not just on traditional media but align with Google and Facebook to form integrated strategies.”
A Phygital Experience
E-commerce is currently 1.8 percent of the current retail share in India and is expected to reach 3-4 percent. Cashing on this opportunity, DLF is introducing the Phygital experience for its customers.
According to Chauhan, “What will really disrupt the retail in the next decade will be the new retail in a Phygital fashion, which means malls need to stay abreast of new developments to offer seamless Phygital solutions to customers.”
Some of these solutions include providing navigation solutions, higher services on loyalty and superior apps which improve discoverability and offer personlised solutions.
Technology – The Future of Retail
DLF Shopping Mall experiences have evolved exceedingly, achieved high levels of performance and customer satisfaction. DLF Mall of India became the first ever mall in the country to have adopted the use of technology with video walls and digital kiosks last year. They launched a path-breaking initiative with an online BTL Booking portal where a brand can book, block, auction, receive invoices, make online payments and acquire gates passes for BTL activations and hiring space.
“We also installed Digital Directories to offer quick and easy guides to help shoppers find what they’re looking for at the multi-level malls. On the other hand, DLF Promenade followed suit by introducing WiFi’s and wallets for payments within the mall,” explains Chauhan.
“DLF Saket recently installed sensors in the parking lots to provide drivers with a visual indicator to detect how many parking spots were available on each level. Taking Augmented Reality on a completely significant level was the integration of an engaging Virtual Assistant platform – Huber. Anyone and everyone visiting Cyber Hub could explore and celebrate life the way they want with the help of this virtual concierge,” he further states.
Tech disruption these days, is considered as the way forward in the retail industry. The industry has already started leveraging the best of it and is continually upgrading itself with next level of technologies to enhance consumer fulfilment and their shopping experiences.
Phygital experience is going to change the retail landscape of the country and DLF is well on its way to being the pioneer of providing them to the consumer. These experiences will be launched and deployed in phases and a big bang launch can be expected sometime before the end of this year.