As the trend for online shopping shows no signs of slowing down (arguably not a trend anymore and now the ‘new normal’), shopping centres must use their websites to convey and sell their USPs to potential customers. We here at Webbiz are highly knowledgeable and experienced with shopping centre website design, management and marketing (see our work with Dublin’s famous Jervis Shopping Centre here) and below we show you some examples of how to promote your shopping centre USPs.
Regardless of how advanced or life-like that technology and the internet have become; they still fail to allow online shoppers to physically touch and feel a product. When looking to part with money to purchase something, not being able to try on a piece of clothing, visualise the size of a watch or sit on a sofa to see how comfortable it is makes for a tangible drawback. This rings especially true when it comes to more high-ticket items as there is arguably more of a risk at stake if the customer is not satisfied with what they have ordered online.
As such, shopping centres avoid this pitfall by having the products that they sell available to touch, try on and experience in person – one of the major shopping centre USPs. Highlight this key point across your website and marketing channels as a draw towards traditional bricks-and-mortar stores: “Try on the perfect size here”, “Find the comfiest mattress in-store” etc. (this naturally feeds into what is known as ROPO). Reminding potential customers of your shopping centre about this fact can help to swing the results in your favour in terms of attracting them to your physical premises.
When you choose Webbiz to design, deploy and manage the likes of your website, content and marketing campaigns; we keep this fact at the forefront.
By holding events in your physical space, you offer something that an online experience cannot mirror. While those online could technically view a livestream of any events you hold, this only provides them with a visual and audio experience as opposed to a full experience. The likes of treasure hunts within the shopping centre, offers and giveaways from pop-up shops and Christmas caroling at festive times are all elements that your shopping centre can easily excel at and the online experience cannot.
Likewise by limiting sales and promotions to store only events, you in effect coax shoppers away from their online shopping by offering them something that they can only take advantage of at your shopping centre. While you may not be able to dictate when each shop holds a sale, you can arrange with each tenant a date to hold a shopping centre sale event or student night etc. – with all / the best offers only being available in your shopping centre stores (i.e. the offers would not be available in an eCommerce sense on each of the respective store websites).
Webbiz can help you in this regard by mobilising your online channels (with natural crossover to offline channels) to raise awareness of any of your offsite offers.
Your overall offering should be punctuated by little luxuries that may not seem like much on the surface, but together combine to offer a deeper shopping centre experience. For example, offering free parking (if possible) removes the pain point of having to seek parking and possibly even pay for it. Having free wi-fi available is another little luxury that not every single shopping centre offers (therefore this could even be a USP for you). Having cafes and restaurants as part of your lineup empowers the customer journey with the potential to take a break and resume their shopping spree – without having to leave your premises.
The basics also apply here in that having a clean and tidy interior and exterior can evoke a little feeling of luxury as opposed to a more shabby and unkempt premises. Even the presence of bins and benches dotted around your shopping centre provide a convenience that makes for an uninterrupted shopping experience. While these extra elements may seem somewhat insignificant and taken for granted as a more basic as opposed to luxurious element; there absence is always felt when they are not present (proving their position as one of life’s little luxuries).
So where possible, ensure your shopping centre is offering everything that it can as all of these little luxuries definitely add up and work in favour of your physical space and premises.
Shopping Centre USPs to Promote
As you can see from above, there are real and tangible elements that your shopping centre simply exceeds at when competing with the online shopping experience. While some of these shopping centre USPs may seem obvious and somewhat basic; by highlighting and promoting them you set the scene for potential customers and entice them to your bricks-and-mortar location by elucidating on the element of exclusivity that the online experience simply can’t fully offer.