Every industry sector approaches loyalty programs differently. In comparison to the retailers, the loyalty program for shopping centres is widespread. In terms of loyalty purely from a mall perspective, one needs to understand what loyalty means for a shopping centre operator. Why would consumers come and how can they perceive loyalty from the shopping mall? What would be the key drivers in the location? What services are offered by the centre? What are the experiences and convenience provided inside the mall premises?
In order to handle the loyalty model similar to what e-commerce portals do to their consumers, shopping centres in India study and follow the international benchmarks. There is no unique successful single model by any mall developer. Every mall has a different aspect, and it is not necessary that all aspects will be good for other malls too. Creating a sustainable model is an option, but it is still doubtful that this will click for shopping centres in different locations mainly Tier I, II, III cities. Consumers in every city can have his/her thoughts different for the loyalty programs. Technology has a major role to play here and then only a uniform model can be created.
Technology which we are using is also not that mature. The other thing is the conservative nature of the industry, and most are not willing to put in a lot of money upfront for these apps. The international market is quite ahead of us. They are not short of resources, and are very mature in approach. If the shopping centre owners want to preserve or own the consumer, they will have to invest accordingly. One must invest and promote it vigorously, enthusiastically and energetically.
The investment on events which is done in time of festivals and occasions, is one generic aspect. The mall must keep aside some sort of money for fuelling the loyalty program, and then largely depend on the retailer support. Today’s customers are seeking experiences to enrich their lives, and a cross-brand loyalty program for malls could be the differentiator mall owners are looking for, as it drives footfall and creates an unforgettable experience at the same time.