According to a survey by the international commercial property consultancy Jones Lang Lasalle in 2012, Ireland has the highest number of shopping centres per head of population in Europe.

The survey showed that Ireland had almost 500sqm of shopping centre space per 1,000 people — more than twice the average European tally of 179sqm per thousand.

With so many shopping centres in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway, consumers have lots of destinations to chose from when it comes to shopping.

While this is great for the consumer, it makes for a very competitive environment for property owners and their tenants – the retailer.

Driving footfall and average spend is critical for the long-term survival of shopping centres and their tenants.

While there are lots of strategies that shopping centres can implement to drive footfall, this blog is going to focus on the different types of shopping centre promotion ideas that can be used.

Advantages of running a shopping centre promotion

  • Drive footfall
  • Increase average transactional value
  • Increase frequency of visit
  • Create a point of difference
  • A Simple ” Thank you.”

We are going to explore five different types of sales promotions, which will reward a customer for visiting a shopping centre more often and spending more. Read our blog on 6 Best Summer Sales Promotions

Five examples of easy to implement shopping centre promotions

1. Receipt recognition.

Receipt recognition technology allows shopping centre managers to run a promotion involving all their tenants. There is no requirement for epos integration or long lead in times.

The customer is invited to participate in this promotion by simply uploading a receipt from any store in the shopping centre. The receipt is uploaded to a branded promotional website. The receipt recognition technology validates the spend, and the customer is entered into a competition or receives a reward.

2. iBeacon

iBeacon technology allows mobile apps to understand the position and location of users.

With iBeacon technology, any brand, retailer, app, or platform will be able to understand exactly where a customer is in the brick and mortar environment. This provides an opportunity to send customer’s highly contextual, hyper-local, meaningful messages and advertisements on their smartphones.

A consumer carrying a smartphone can walk into a store and can have relevant information or offers communicated through the app

This could be something as simple as a push message [“Welcome to Liffey Valley! Check out the sales in Dunnes Stores!”], and could include other contents offers like targeted advertisements, special offers, and helpful reminders.

To use ibeacon technology as part of a sales promotions, requires installing ibeacons at strategic locations around the centre. The customer is required to download the shopping centres app. Once downloaded, the app can detect customer locations as the pass the various beacon.

The French International retailer, Auchan, has been piloting the use of ibeacons since September 2016. The hypermarket has been using this technology at their stores in the Ukraine capital Kiev to better interact with customers.

Auchan has been using ibeacons to enable customers to receive notifications for offers and promotions as they move through the store.

The use of ibeacons is providing shoppers with a personal experience while also providing Auchan with a better understanding of its customer’s shopping behavior.

Auchan installed over 180 ibeacons throughout the store. Customers are required to download the Auchan app to enable the use of beacons.

The app can detect the person’s presence at the store as soon as they enter. Customers, can view a list of discounted items or offers to indicate new products or promotions as they walk through the store.

3. Text or SMS Contest

Text or SMS based contests are very simple to implement and are very well received by customers.

However, customers don’t need to visit the shopping centre or indeed to purchase to participate. So it misses that critical objective of driving footfall and spend.

If implemented effectively, it can generate some great insights to customers and build a dynamic database for shopping centres

Shopping centres could run an SMS contest, inviting the consumer to tell us the name of their favorite store and why this store is their favorite.

To enter the contest, they must provide some information such as gender, email address, age, etc.

Now we are building a database of customers with some useful information. Shopping centres can communicate to this database with future offers and information.

Here’s an example of Text or SMS promotion – Madrid Sur Shopping Centre

The Madrid Sur shopping mall asked its customers to explain in which ways they and their children are “like father like son.”

4. Photo Content Contest

A photo content contest could be incorporated into a text contest but here we are suggesting including social media.

A photo contest could require the customer to take a photo of their favorite shop while they are shopping. The customer could be asked to share this photo on their social media platform telling their followers why this is their favorite store.

The competition could be promoted using a specific hashtag. This type of promotions has several advantages:

  • It all about being in the shopping centre.
  • It is creating UGC – user-generating content
  • It is a great branding exercise.

Here is an example of Photo Content promotion – The San Cugat Shopping Mall

The San Cugat Shopping Mall in Barcelona, which is one of the largest retail parks in Spain ran very effective promotion when generated high engagement through UGC

5. Mobile Loyalty Program

This is very similar to the text-based promotion. The text-based promotion becomes a long-term loyalty strategy.

Customers are invited to register for the loyalty program to receive monthly offers and entrance into exclusive events and competitions.

The shopping centre builds a rich database of information on registered customers. To encourage the customer to provide more information, customer can be rewarded more for doing so.

Customer register by text a specific number.

It is also possible to include a bar code in the monthly offer. This barcode can be scanned at the till and here we can see which rewards are redeemed and indeed which are more popular.

Kohl’s is one of the largest US retailers in America.

Kohl’s keeps their mobile loyalty program very simple. They leverage promo codes and link to mobile web coupons for tracking.

This lets them extend the experience from the text message to a mobile web experience that gives them more real estate to share details about the offers.

Posted in Sales Promotions