How to make shopping malls future-proof


Running a shopping mall is challenging, with the need to ensure tenant and customer satisfaction while maximizing profits. The rise of online retail has changed consumer shopping behavior, and the pandemic further disrupted shopping experiences. To adapt to these challenges, malls need to gather data for informed decision-making. That’s where Ariadne comes in, assisting shopping malls in stepping into the future and achieving their goals by providing various benefits. Shopping malls should strategically focus on offering convenience and experience as added-value elements, as they can't compete with the unlimited product selection of online shops.

Many shopping malls are already focusing their efforts on digitalization and creating unique shopping experiences. To achieve the latter, they are adopting strategies such as creating smaller shops, hosting a diverse mix of tenants, and catering to specialized niches. Additionally, pop-up stores are being utilized beyond their traditional seasonal and promotion-based purposes.

Why can the mix of smaller and pop-up stores lead shopping malls to the future?

The mix of smaller and pop-up stores in shopping malls can lead to a more vibrant and successful future for several reasons. Firstly, smaller stores and pop-ups provide a diverse and unique shopping experience that differs from the standard chain stores found in many malls. This appeals to consumers who are seeking something different and personalized.

Moreover, these smaller stores and pop-ups offer flexibility and adaptability that larger chain stores often lack. They allow for the inclusion of additional services and experiences in the mall, such as non-traditional food options, gathering centres, concerts, spas, fitness clubs, and groceries. This transforms the mall into a dynamic and multifaceted destination, encouraging consumers to view shopping as part of a broader experience rather than simply visiting individual mega-stores.

Pop-up stores, traditionally associated with short-term retail settings, can also serve as valuable testing grounds for established retailers. They enable the testing of new products, evaluation of customer interest, and increased brand or product awareness. Additionally, the inclusion of small and local businesses or young entrepreneurs in malls becomes possible, offering opportunities for these companies that may not have the resources for long-term tenancy.

A successful mix of smaller stores can become a strategic asset for mall owners, complementing the anchor tenants that drive traffic. It brings novelty and unique experiences to visitors, offering more innovative products and services that cater to niche markets, such as luxury brands. Small stores often have knowledgeable sales assistants who provide individualized attention, fostering a sense of community and customer loyalty. Furthermore, the lower overhead costs of small stores allow for more competitive pricing, making shopping in these stores more affordable for customers.

Why building apps might not be the single way towards the future?

At Ariadne, we have the ability to track the number of customers who have installed the shopping centre’s application, and what we've found is a recurring ratio: one person in one thousand visitors is using the application. So, one in thousand visitors are installing the application of the shopping centre. This might seem counterintuitive, especially if you have personally witnessed tens or even hundreds of thousands of downloads. After all, the number of visitors in the shopping centre is unlikely to exceed twenty-five thousand. So how can this ratio be accurate?

The answer becomes apparent when visualizing the situation using a Venn diagram. If we consider the group on the left to be users who have downloaded the app, and the group on the right to be customers who have visited the shopping centre, then the focus should be on the overlapping region of the two groups. By homing in on this intersection, we can gain a more accurate understanding of how many visitors are also app users and use this information to inform marketing and promotional efforts. To make things even worse, if you wish to obtain spatial analytics, for example to answer questions such as to find the sequence of stores people love to visit together, you need to have your visitors using the application while they are located in the shopping centre.


How can Ariadne guide shopping malls to the future?

Ariadne can act as a gate to the future and help shopping malls in their transition from traditional shopping centres to experience centres in the following aspects:

1. Identify the leasing type

Ariadne’s solutions can assist mall owners in identifying the type, location, and time length of space leasing to pop-up stores. Firstly, location analytics can be used to identify the best locations for such stores that will receive the most exposure based on foot traffic and customer behaviour. Then, the popularity of certain pop-up stores can be measured by tracking how many people visit them and how long they stay. Consequently, mall owners can make data-driven decisions on which stores or categories they should bring back in the future.

2. Optimizing Layout and Design

By analysing visitor geospatial data provided by Ariadne, Shopping Mall owners and property managers will be able to optimize their layouts. Location Analytics provide insights about how people move through space and thus help identify spaces that are overly crowded or underutilized. The adjusted layout can optimize the shopper flow and thus improve the overall customer experience.

3. Creating Unique Experiences

We know that engaging with visitors in a shopping centre can be a challenge, especially when they are looking for a hassle-free experience. Ariadne´s Engagement feature offers a seamless opt-in process that does not require any app installation. Visitors can simply opt-in via our free WiFi network, by scanning a QR code, or by tapping on an NFC. With our innovative approach, we've recorded 200 times more opt-ins than traditional application downloads! What's more, our opt-in rates are consistently high, with up to 60% of visitors choosing to opt-in daily. This means that you can target these visitors directly and easily based on their location within the shopping center.

4. Identifying Customer Profiles

Lifestyle insights can be derived by utilizing the information on the location and trajectory pattern of the visitors, without infringing the data protection regulations. This information can assist shopping malls to create a more personalized experience by sending customized campaigns tailored to their needs or offers to customers based on their trajectories and their current location within the mall. For example, visitors that visit a gym in the shopping mall, and then go to the supermarket or sport related retailers can have targeted marketing activities for promoting products that promote a healthy lifestyle like protein bars. Ariadne’s Opt-in service can also be used for this purpose by pushing these personalized offers to the customers.

Why is Ariadne unique ?

Ariadne is the next-generation visitor/shopper analytics platform for Commercial Real Estate, providing real-time people flow analytics throughout the** entire visitor/shopper journey**.

Our patented technology is based on signal-based tracking and doesn’t require any camera, beacon, wi-fi joining or any app to be downloaded, leading to** 100% unique coverage of phone holders** and down to** 1m of location accuracy**.

While our multi-layered SaaS solution allows for passive tracking in a certified GDPR compliant manner, it can transform itself into a powerful omnichannel marketing and navigation tool when visitors/shoppers opt in.

If you're interested in learning more about our system and how it can benefit you, don't hesitate to get in touch. We'd be happy to provide you with more information and answer any questions you may have.