Effectively interpret the changing consumer trends in order to maintain a high volume of footfalls and occupancy

The world of retail and shopping is constantly changing, as are the layouts, role and content of the shopping centers. We believe that in the coming years finding ways to promote interaction and personalized relationships with visitors, as well as the integration of e-commerce, will be key.

Shopping centers will increasingly be more experience and shopping media oriented

For these reasons we developed a plan focused on innovation, designed to improve and personalize the visitors’ customer journey through experiences and initiatives which enhance the role of shopping centers as entertainment hubs and meeting places.

We structured our idea of shopping center around 6 key words:

EXPERIENCE

Target

Identify solutions that make shopping more engaging and experiential in order to impress visitors: experience oriented shopping center

What we doing

“Experience to be lived” project has already been introduced in 2 shopping centers (Punta di ferro and Città delle Stelle) in 2018. Three more shopping centers will be involved from 2019.

SOCIAL SHOPPING CENTER

Entrench the Shopping Center in its local area promoting good relations and social behaviour in order to establish ties, exchange knowledge and carry out projects of common interest.

The project “Social Borgo. Verso un Centro Commerciale partecipato” has been launched in Centro Borgo, Bologna. Thanks to this initiative, citizens were invited to share their ideas about the neighborhood needs; 8 of those ideas were selected and they will be put into practice starting from March 2020.

PERSONALISATION

Focus on visitors, establishing unique and special relations

  • Chat bot technology: customer service by means of 24/7 real time chat
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Strategy

SERVICES

Introduce and manage a set of tools which enable us to improve our customers’ journey, also by means of new technology.

  • Introduce EV charging stations (in 20 shopping centers) and e-bike charging points
  • Structured use of Instagram
  • Interactive digital communication by means of totem in all the IGD centers

OMNICHANNEL

Connect the online and offline shopping experience

  • Establish a channel of communication with the Marketing office of the shopping mall tenants
  • Installation of Amazon lockers to collect online bought products

ENTERTAINMENT

Offer recreational opportunities within Shopping Centers, enhancing their role as an entertainment, activity and meeting location.

Offer innovative, exclusive and inclusive events (also through co-marketing activities) as part of the approx. 540 events held every year in the IGD Shopping Centers.

A commercial approach to aligh marketing mix and new trends

We will work on the merchandise mix in our malls on order to provide visitors with products that better reflect current trends:

  • we will work to enrich the experiences available in the mall by increasing both the types of services (schools, doctors’ offices and veterinarian clinics) offered and the spaces dedicated to the sharing economy (co-working or rental retail);
  • we also envision increasing interaction with the online channel by introducing kiosks where online purchases can picked up, as well as making room for retailer currently active exclusively online;
  • in agreement with tenants, we will also work to introduce outlet stores for those who are not looking for the latest models, but rather the best deals;
  • as for the food courts, we will pay careful and constant attention to new trends and continuosly update the offering (for example, increasing the vegan and organic restaurants);
  • we will also be careful to provide a valid mix of the merchandise that will no longer be sold by the hypermarkets which will be increasingly more focused on fresh food and grocery

Main results achieved over the last few years

Merchandising mix

With a view to increasing the offering of categories that are less influenced by the development of online sales and be in line with the new trends, we changed the merchandise mix through brand rotation and introduction of new trademarks. Between 2017 and 2019, for example, 85 new brands were added to our malls (31 only in 2019), of which 25% belong to the bar and restaurant category.

Events

In 2018 530 events were organized in our shopping centers in Italy, an average of 21 per center. Priority was given to events which allowed for an even closer online and offline relationship; socially minded events focused on inclusion; cultural and artistic initiatives and, lastly, events focused on the needs of our visitors, like free health examinations.

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