Transformation, evolution, transition, upgradation, all these words can be rightly used, to sum up, the year 2020 in terms of Indian businesses and their functioning. Malls, entertainment centers, and other areas of rejuvenation took the most severe hit due to the ongoing pandemic. However, an individual’s desires to feel relaxed, and have some leisure time for himself/ herself can only be curbed to an extent, the brands as well as customers evolved in terms of their offerings and demands, respectively.
The virus just acted as an initiator, to the world undergoing a roller coaster change, and now as we look back at it the most commendable aspect of it all is the survival spirit of human nature. Every firm, each corporate simply took upon themselves the responsibility to be the safest brand or provide their customers the safest surrounding to shop and explore their products. These revived strategies started taking shape post the lockdown and were very evident during the festive times when revenue of most malls almost touched pre-COVID levels. However, as we now stand amid the second wave in the year 2021, it is essential to look into the transformed marketing strategies for malls, and their ardent need to be practiced.
Going Contactless - The virus tends to mutate over frequently touched objects, and what if those objects are eliminated. Brands have dedicatedly worked upon minimizing their tangibility amongst products. They are driving customers by utility, technology, and innovation in selection. As much as possible, contactless and sanitized products are available for the customers to choose from.
Digital Fulfilment - Customer ecstasy is not easy to achieve during the times when contagion fear is prevalent and few of the target group is trying to figure out whether to engage in discretionary spending or not. Building on the customer’s customized needs is the key to drive engagement from them in such circumstances. For doing this, each brand must have a digital platform that addresses every need of the associated customer from inquiries, selections, customization, etc.
Personalized Merchandising - The retail chains to stand out and make their customers feel privileged introduced personalized services, but in the present times as the needs of patrons continue to rise. The need for personalized offerings remains stable. It could also be due to the platform social media platforms are providing to everyone, each user has the potential and bandwidth to create something of their own. The millennial especially wants to do it in their own unique way, given the chance for brands, stores, and the entire retail and entertainment industry to get creative.
Collaborative and Experiential Offering - The changes in customer behavior and purchase patterns driven by the COVID-19 are definitely going to be long-term, and these have highlighted weaknesses in the traditional retail business models. Engaging the patrons in a collaborative purchase ecosystem through partnerships with other retailers, technology platforms, marketplaces or other innovative applications and partners will act as enablers. Retailers will be able to extend existing business capabilities, support new business models, offer new products and services, and ultimately be the first choice for evolving customer needs.
Conclusively, all these transformations have the capability to drive better results in revenue generation as we battle against COVID-19, but the job of marketing is half done if it is not promoted well. Hence, the social media platforms and other OTT, OOH, personalized channels of communication will play a major role in developing a concrete customer base for malls in 2021.