The retail landscape is changing. Many have questioned the future of brick-and-mortar retail in the face of online e-commerce taking precedence. But we believe that the two can in fact co-exist to serve very different purposes.
Engagement and experience can only be achieved in a shopping centre retail format. The customer of the future does not shop merely for functional purpose but also for the experience which starts much before the actual purchase transaction. Here is where the shopping centre plays a crucial role.
If we can build engagement and in turn get loyal customers, we essentially make ourselves future proof. Most retailers who worry about losing customers to alternative options in a world of plenty are not trying to make themselves indispensable. A customer chooses to come to a particular shopping destination mainly because they like the experience, the ambience and the way the shopping centre engages them. So, building engagement in turn impacts building of loyalty and walk-ins.
There are various aspects other than shopping to engage consumers, and events and activities takes precedence. In terms of engaging customers through events and activities, we at Select CITYWALK like to go above and beyond the usual expected calendar of activities. We recently celebrated World Doodle Day by inviting doodle artists to conduct workshops on the art of doodling which was a huge success. Another interesting food exhibit that we recently hosted was ‘Cheeni Cheeni’. It was a one of a kind Mithai fiesta showcasing innovative mithais in a popup format to gear up for the festive season.
Other innovative events include a women’s’ leadership talk series titled ‘Sheros’ as well as regular screenings of old classic films and performances across theatre and music. We also like to partner with local authorities providing them with a platform to spread important social messages. For this, Delhi Traffic Police conducted a road safety carnival as well as the recently held SDMC anti-plastic initiative on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
Another important aspect of engaging customers are the Family entertainment centre and food courts. Food outlets and Family Entertainment Centres are important binders making a mall a destination beyond shopping. The longevity of stay and footfall are highly impacted by a healthy mix of F&B as well as entertainment brands at the mall.
Food courts especially have emerged as an essential component to our success. At Select CITYWALK, we have an extensive mix of F&B outlets including international coffee chains, bespoke stand-alone restaurants, Cafes, Pubs & Lounges as well as our Food Court – ‘My Square’ with a plethora of cuisines on offer.
The PVR movie theatre as well as popular spaces like Hangout as well as our outdoor plaza area are popular among families to spend time, especially during weekends. In today’s time customer engagement and loyalty are correlated and very important.
We invest a lot into building loyalty and a genuine relationship of friendship and trust with our customers. At Select CITYWALK we have always positioned ourselves as a friend to shoppers who choose to trust us. Someone they can rely on, have fun with and come back to for more every time. This loyalty is hard-earned and hence we realise it should also be rewarded. This is the basic ethos behind our loyalty program. Today a customer is bombarded with options and hence the fact that they skim above these options and choose to be loyal to us requires a justified program to cater to them.
Consumers expect and demand an experience when visiting a shopping centre. The mall owners face the challenge of pleasing both tenants and visitors. As these trends advance across the global stage, they are forcing mall operators to rethink how they conceive and operate their properties. Owners can revitalise their strategies by engaging new retail concepts. In the face of these considerable challenges, malls are seeking to stay relevant, drive growth and boost efficiency.