Sales promotions can garner customers’ attention and loyalty. Personalized promotions are a good way to boost short-term sales, attract new and existing mall shoppers and increase dwell time for your center.
- Streamlining your marketing process
- Increasing your ROI
This article will cover these key elements of effective shopping mall sales promotions:
Choose your audience wisely
Spending money trying to attract the wrong mall shoppers won’t help your shopping center, no matter how terrific your sales promotion seems. Be sure to think about the type of customer you need to target.
In fact, depending on the sales promotion you’re generating, you may need to break your customer base down to a more narrow, specific group in order for you to achieve your best return on investment. This is called market segmentation.
Here’s how: break your customer base into the following:
- Zip code
- Shopping mall stores they visit the most
In reaching different groups as listed above, you may need to fine-tune or break down your mall's sales promotion to better appeal to a specific group. Conversely, you may find that combining one sales promotion to appeal to two or more of these groups may be effective as well. Your best bet is to work with your mall's tenants to find the right mix.
Pay attention to any type of mall shopper that seems to be increasing within your base. For instance, you suddenly may be appealing to seniors or teens, or those on Instagram, or perhaps people in a specific zip code. You may also find that you’re appealing to men more than women, and so on.
At the same time, you may notice that a certain segment of your mall shopper database is decreasing -- or simply not growing at all. Are you okay with this? Perhaps you realize that you may not need that market segment in order to generate foot traffic for your shopping center. However, if that shrinking segment is troubling to you, think of what kind of sales promotion may appeal to them and bring them back into the fold.
Is your audience leaving you for your competition? Are other shopping malls simply offering stronger and more successful sales promotions? If so, consider these questions:
- How am I differentiating myself from the competition?
- Am I using my marketing dollars to successfully compete?
To really get innovative -- and to give your competitors a run for their money -- think of a market segment that you can attract that may not have been considered by your competition.
Measure, measure, measure
Don’t leave your sales promotion to chance. Always know where your efforts are going and how they are paying off. You can ensure this is being done by using an end-to-end shopping mall marketing software solution that streamlines multi-channel marketing execution, delivers personalized messages to shoppers at the most influential moments, and provides user-friendly reporting on KPIs that matter.
If your shopping mall's goals are not being met, you will need to rethink your strategy, but you won’t be able to make this vital connection without measuring the success of your sales promotion.
Of course, no two promotions are truly the same, and they can vary widely from tenant to tenant. However, here are some general measurement rules of thumb that you can use to see if your sales promotion is giving you the results you need:
- Increased foot traffic
- Higher dwell times
- Higher customer satisfaction (as seen on social media and sites like Yelp)
In order to best measure the effectiveness of your sales promotion, try this:
Set database growth goals.
Go beyond just the one sales promotion and decide how much you want your mall's shopper database to grow by a certain date. For example: “I want my database to grow by 40% by the end of the fourth quarter.”
By setting bottom-line numerical goals, you will clearly learn if your sales promotions are helping to meet (or even exceed) your original objectives.
Set a limited timeframe
Create a deadline for your shopping mall's sales promotion -- your customers will perceive it as more valuable. The popular expression, FOMO -- fear of missing out -- is intense and effective when presented to customers. A limited-time sales promotion may influence customers to take a harder look at what you’re offering, and feel compelled to commit to the sale before the sand runs out of the hourglass.
Keep in mind that a limited timeframe for your sales promotion won’t amount to much unless you are offering real value to the shopper. Give some consideration to what you think your customer will find most interesting, satisfying and rewarding.
Promote across multiple channels
Your sales promotion won’t be effective unless it can be seen, and in today’s digital word, it’s more urgent than ever for you to proactively get out there and promote your promotion. Here are just a few ways to spread the word:
- Website blog
- Email newsletter
- Online advertising (where you can target your specific demographic)
- In-center signage
- Direct mail campaign
One strategy that has proven to be successful time and time again for shopping malls: email marketing. With this, you can personalize your offer and create a more intimate approach to your customer. Email marketing has shown a very high average return on investment -- $38 for each $1 spent.
Just remember that you need visibility -- at all costs.
Know what you are spending.
Always know exactly what you are spending on each sales promotion (including how much money you may have to eat in order to draw in new customers). Spending a lot of money to get disappointing results is not going to help your shopping center grow.
By having an itemized list of exactly what you are spending on your promotion (for instance, online advertising), you will be able to get a better handle on where your spending is doing you the most good and where it may be lacking. The success (or failure) of your sales promotion may help you figure out where to put -- or move -- your money for the next promotion.
Some additional ideas:
- Always have a sales promotion budget for your shopping mall and think through every expenditure.
- Ask for feedback from experts who have experience with sales promotion spending.
- Think about exactly how your shopping center's marketing dollars brought you closer to your ultimate business goals. This will give you a bigger picture that you can continue to utilize in future campaigns.
- Think about what you need to rethink, and why.
Remember to constantly review and rethink the sales promotion strategy for your shopping mall. See how your plans lived up to your goals. Most of all, be sure that your customer’s experience with your sales promotion was high-quality and first rate.
Spending money blindly, without a plan, is not a good strategy, even if there is a distant possibility of it all working out. You don’t want to run out of money before you even get started. Take the time to plan a definitive strategy that works for you and your shopping mall's ultimate business goals.