Shopping Centre

What do shoppers say?... about how they want shopping centres to communicate with them

Published:  25 July, 2012

Centre managers wanting to attract younger and wealthier shoppers should rely on email and Facebook. And shoppers seem to be losing the appetite to search for offers and updates on centresí websites.

These are some of the findings of new research carried out by shopper behaviour specialists ROI Team. ROI Team surveyed 161 shoppers (men and women) in Barking, Essex about how they would prefer to learn about updates from their favoured shopping centre.

More than a third of these shoppers in Barking are asking for updates by email. The idea of finding information on a website has declined, with fewer than one shopper in 10 now asking for it.

When looking at preferences by age range, ROI Team found marked differences. Younger shoppers under 35 have an overwhelming appetite to learn via email; whereas older shoppers show a marked loyalty to flyers and local media. Tellingly neither older nor younger shoppers want to search on websites any more.

Facebook is a good way to attract wealthier shoppers. In Barking wealthier shoppers are five times more likely to look for updates via Facebook than their less wealthy counterparts. The less wealthy shoppers are more likely to scan local media for updates.

Andrew McCall, managing director of ROI Team, commented: "Five years ago centres were investing in their websites as their primary means of communication, but today only one shopper in 10 states that as their preferred communication approach. Shopper-facing communication is a very dynamic area, and a manager who doesnít understand the preferences of his or her shoppers risks alienating them."