by CJ Jordan
Kicking around the idea of an app for your shopping center but not totally sold on the concept? Let us provide you with five great reasons on why your center can benefit from having its own app solution:
1. Make it easy for your customers - These days we are all about instant gratification and needing everything all at once. Why not provide that experience for your shoppers in an easy-to-use mobile app? Give your shoppers a concise view of the current promotions, allow them to find their way around using GPS navigation, keep them informed about sidewalk sales and spread the word about special events. Not only will the app help your customers, but it will also build brand and location loyalty with your consumers.
2. Build brand advocates - Wouldn’t it be great if your shoppers did some brand advertising for you? According to a study done by Twitter, 62% of holiday shoppers tweet about purchases they just made. SO, why not make it easy for them to tweet about the purchases they made at your center? Include templated tweets with hashtags and let them go crazy with tweets about the great deals and customer service they received while shopping with you.
3. Encourage repeat visits - Reaching your customers doesn’t have to happen within the confines of your physical property. Mobile apps allow you to extend your boundaries to reach customers you already know are interested in you. Your center will live on their phone through the branded icon that sits next to their social media and email icons. You’ll also have the ability to send them push notifications (occasionally) reminding them about events or upcoming sales.
4. Tenant Recruitment and Feedback - Built-in app analytics can be an incredibly useful tool for your tenants. Let them know that 5,000 people have downloaded the app so far. Tell them that in the past 30 days, there have 15,000 sessions logged and their page has been hit 700 times. When trying to attract tenants to your center, let them know that they’ll have a presence inside an established app that has a strong following with active and engaged users.
5. Educate the user base - Fashion, technology, recreation and many facets of our everyday lives are constantly changing and in flux -- people are always in search of the latest trends. Incorporate blog posts with relevant, useful information into your app. Inform your users about the latest styles, where they can pick up the new version of their favorite gadget at your center, the experts on your property who can help them with camping equipment, etc. People devour content when it has a direct benefit to them, so get consumers connected through your app with blogs built for on-the-go reading.
Take a look at your phone. What content exists within the apps that you most commonly use? Maps, social, maybe a little bit of fun, along with relevant news or writing? Provide your patrons with the same type of convenience with a customized app for the shopping experience you provide.