Published: 8th August 2019

The rise and rise of experience in retail

true creative
true creative

As the process of shopping, on and offline, becomes increasingly homogenous, just how do you stand out from the crowd? 

That’s the challenge we’ve been helping our shopping centre clients rise to over the past few years.

The troubles facing shopping malls and the retail world in general are well documented. The huge impact of online shopping… loss of major anchors like BHS and House of Fraser… too little differentiation between shopping destinations… more emphasis on reducing, re-using and recycling… Marie Kondo’s decluttering trend… Ikea’s ‘peak stuff’ theory…

All of these ingredients and more are contributing to the need to have something fresh and different to offer your customers.

Here are just three examples of how True has helped clients create a shopping experience with a difference in the past few months.

Gromit Unleashed 2: The Unusual Suspects

The Mall at Cribbs Causeway has always been a proud supporter of Aardman Animation’s Grand Appeal. Last year, as well as taking part in the charity’s fundraising trail, The Mall also gave refuge to Wallis and Gromit’s arch enemy, Feathers McGraw.

Disguised as a naughty schoolboy, the pesky penguin moved from shop to shop, while cunning clues on Twitter challenged shoppers to find him for the chance to win a prize. It was a lot of fun, saw shopper engagement spike and gave shoppers a great reason to make Cribbs their first choice destination.

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Fables & Fairy Trails

Typically, the objectives for shopping centre digital activity are: more pre-commitment, more footfall, increased dwell time and bigger spend. It’s a big ask.

That’s particularly true at the beginning of the year, when the weather is grim and people are still recovering from their festive overspending. 

This campaign for The Lexicon, Bracknell was designed to tempt shoppers out of hibernation and into Berkshire’s newest and loveliest shopping mall. Using Augmented Reality to bring fairy stories to life, we created a trail where shoppers could meet fairytale characters and find their way to all the shops where wishes come true. 

Guardians of the Realms

In the retail world, the Christmas trading period is known as the golden quarter. At a time of economic uncertainty and increased online competition, shopping centres need to work hard to outshine the competition.

For Christmas 2018, The Mall at Cribbs Causeway staged a spectacular Nutcracker-inspired event – the Christmas Kingdom - and launched the search for four Guardians in The Mall. Each Guardian was the custodian of some brilliant gift ideas. It was up to shoppers to track them down.

Local Bristol artists were selected to design and hand-paint four Nutcracker dolls using a given theme. Messages on The Mall’s website, in social media, on email and via push notifications from retailers invited shoppers to track the Guardians down for the chance to win prizes.

The campaign delivered a 6% increase in footfall, 9% increase in retailer sales conversion, 1900% increase in retailer engagement and 300% increase in community engagement. And it won a Purple Apple Award. Golden indeed.

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In all of these cases, True explored the possibilities of bringing physical and digital worlds together to give shoppers a memorable, sharable experience that feels good to be part of. Technology breathes new life into the shopping centre experience and enhances the shoppers’ sense of involvement and community. More importantly, we gave our clients a real differentiating factor and made them a highly desireable destination.

Our shopping centre and retail work is going from strength to strength. If you’d like to know more or want to discuss how True can help you achieve your retail objectives, please talk to Sam.

true creative
true creative