June 2, 2022
Mall owners want each stall of their facility to be filled with a tenant, keeping customers flowing and foot traffic high. Keeping stalls full relies on satisfied tenants, though, with each shop having a unique set of needs that must be met. Mall designers and facility managers must get to the core of what will retain them when building new developments or refitting old ones. Taking these factors into consideration can not only provide returns in the short term, but also help future-proof mall design against obsolescence long-term.
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Expand your knowledge of shopping mall design and best practices with The Planner’s Guide to Mall Design.
Mall design should take into consideration what will satisfy customers the most. The frequency of stairs, elevators, and escalators will change perceptions of how easy it is to navigate your facility. Meanwhile, if a mall has a reputation of being dirty or dingy, it’s unlikely that customers will be compelled to return. To customers, your mall design is a mosaic consisting of its stores, layout, and general cleanliness. Your mission is to make something that’s greater than the sum of its parts, because that’s the type of place that customers want to visit, and the places customers want to visit are where tenants want to be.
Crowds are a beautiful sight for mall owners and their tenants, but they need to be managed efficiently. Specifically, your mall design should account for how visitors will flow through the facility on the busiest shopping days of the year, like Black Friday in the US. You’ll want to be aware of high-traffic dates in your own area and adjust your strategy when creating a new development. For instance, if your peak business days co-align with high temperatures, you’ll want to consider high-end air conditioning throughout the mall.
The pandemic saw sharp declines in foot traffic in 2020, but a 47.5% uptick in 2021. Brick and mortar stores are on the mend in the wake of the pandemic, so don’t let the brief dip fool you into thinking that events like Black Friday are on the way out.
Tenants want to be assured that your mall design makes crowds efficient and manageable. How is a large crowd going to flow through the mall with the added element of customers that are trying to get to a specific store, thereby sprinkling some chaos to the system? Where can customers break from the crowd for a little bit of breathing room? Consider each of these points when you’re building your mall’s layout. Filling your mall with points of interest is an easy method to disperse customers effectively, and they don’t necessarily need to be physical items. It’s possible to integrate incredible digital works of art using augmented reality.
Tenants want to know that their stores are being advertised in your mall, and signage is a key driver of getting the word out. Traditional signage is cumbersome, needs to be printed, and can feel old-fashioned. Modern malls have begun to implement digital signage solutions that can be updated within moments, reducing the amount of effort it takes to present new promotional material to guests. Digital signage is more engaging than traditional signage and can be integrated with mall design to take the facility’s appeal to the next level. These modern mall design solutions are a stellar way to prove the value your facility brings to the table to your tenants while also generating a notable ROI. They aid with maintaining and improving foot traffic, plus provide empirical data to help sell ad space.
When working on mall design, add a space dedicated to a concierge service. This could be a desk with a few representatives near the center of the mall, booths scattered around the building, or a more advanced solution, such as a personalized in-app experience. A concierge should have an encyclopedic knowledge of the facility and be able to point customers in the direction of specific stores, products, or experiences. No matter the form it takes, a concierge service adds a premium feel to the building at large. Input from a concierge feels genuine, and tenants are likely to be satisfied if they consistently hear from customers that entered a store thanks to a concierge’s recommendation. Concierge services also align closely with evolving customer needs. Consumers are 80% more likely to make a purchase if they receive a personalized experience, which proves the value of having a concierge service on-hand. A digital concierge can take things even further, offering on-the-go recommendations through apps. Anyone can purchase a personalized product recommendation through Amazon. What separates a mall is the experience that it provides, which a digital concierge service elevates.
The best thing one can do to drive tenant satisfaction through mall design is to keep technology at the forefront of every decision they make. By integrating advanced solutions to their layout, facility managers can easily share empirical data about visits, maintenance, and which areas are receiving the highest foot traffic, data that helps inform mall design decisions. These technological solutions are a key part of keeping malls up to date in a shifting market.
Resonai’s Vera platform is designed to help facility managers and mall designers overhaul the experience for their tenants and visitors with these technological advancements in mind, making malls more manageable and efficient. Offering navigation services, a digital concierge, and a truly personalized shopping experience, Vera can satisfy tenants and impress customers. Are you ready to learn more? Get in touch with Resonai today and set up a free demonstration.
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