Top 5 Shopping Mall Loyalty Programs For Better Customer Retention
The past few years have been pivotal to the retail industry, even more so for shopping malls. First, the rise of eCommerce popularity reduced the appeal of brick-and-mortar store browsing. Then, the COVID19 pandemic struck, and malls were decidedly some of the most affected industries due to their inherent in-person shopping nature.
In light of this change, shopping malls are forced to innovate in order to accommodate the needs of their customers. The end of the pandemic looks closer by the day and shoppers are expected to return to the stores as early as April. Once that happens, mall managers will need to find creative ways to retain those customers, increasing their lifetime value.
This is why we wrote this article. In the next few chapters, you will learn how to improve your retention rates through shopping mall loyalty programs. After giving you a short introduction to the concept, we list some of the best shopping mall loyalty programs and the main takeaways that can help you improve your offer.
So let’s start by understanding what a shopping mall loyalty program is, and what it consists of.
What are Shopping mall loyalty programs?
Shopping mall loyalty programs incentivize shoppers to conduct repeat purchases from the facility, by offering various rewards in the form of discounts, cashback, and other perks.
However, these programs have an additional appeal due to their cross-brand nature. Customers can accumulate loyalty points by shopping at unrelated brands, using the amenities, or dining in the shopping mall.
Finally, when paired to a shopping mall loyalty program mobile app, they can provide an interactive and memorable experience, increasing footfall and customer engagement.
Benefits of shopping mall loyalty programs
Shopping mall loyalty programs benefit both the tenants and the company that owns the mall, by providing:
- Customer retention - the primary motive behind any loyalty program is to provoke repeat purchase behavior, creating loyal customers by rewarding them. Statistics support this fact by showing that more than 77% of shoppers prefer brands backed by loyalty programs.
- Cross-brand promotions and events - the offers in the shopping mall don’t have to be brand-centric anymore. This helps reach a broader audience and attracts customers that wouldn’t have visited otherwise. Furthermore, footfall can be increased by supporting non-discount engagement using multi-brand events such as treasure hunts or contests that include multiple retailers.
- Increased engagement - having multiple retailers consolidated under a single app can encourage consumers to share views and opinions, adding a social perspective to the shopping experience. Furthermore, it allows the mall to expand its digital presence, helping to answer the needs of consumers today.
- Provides relevant customer data and consumer trends - data in retail is an essential resource. Loyalty programs show you customers patterns and behaviors that will help you tailor your offer to their needs and target preferred groups accordingly. In addition, this data can help detect struggling and underperforming retailers that could benefit from a joint marketing campaign with successful shops.
- Better shopping experience - shopping mall apps can be used to collect points, but also serve as a guide to and within the mall. The app can allow customers to plan their visit and access relevant data such as restaurant congestion times or parking availability.
The main elements of a good shopping mall loyalty program
To provide all of the aforementioned benefits in a seamless manner, every shopping mall loyalty program needs to integrate a number of essential features in order to be successful.
- Universal - which means that it should be accepted by all (or most of) the stores in the mall, and work on any device. Bonus points if it works in different malls in different cities or countries.
- Contactless - to comply with future health safety guidelines during the coronavirus crisis, NFC technology implementation should be a standard shopping mall app feature.
- Valuable - give the customer something to strive for which strengthens its relationship with the commerce.
- Convenient - make the shopping process as frictionless as possible by allowing them to avoid queues, spend points seamlessly and plan ahead. The program should remove pain points, not add them.
The best shopping mall loyalty programs around the world
Here are some of the most interesting loyalty programs you should know about.
This shopping mall loyalty program covers more than 2600 different stores across 22 different malls owned by the SHKP group in the Hong Kong region.
The Point is a great example of a loyalty program that regroups most of the critical advantages one can offer.
First, it is value-driven, as it offers a $50 equivalent bonus in points just for signing up. Loyal customers can collect points that can be either:
- Exchanged for cash vouchers and used in participating stores.
- Used to access mall-centric rewards such as amenity discounts or free meals. These benefits are twofold - increase the value of the program and incentivize the customer to spend additional quality time in the mall.
In addition to collecting points, program participants can access a wide variety of perks, such as free and contactless parking thanks to The Point shopping mall app integration.
Main takeaway: The Point shows that implementing multiple value-ridden offers is entirely possible. Their app adds incredible convenience and provides their customers with an enhanced shopping experience on multiple levels.
- Dubai Mall - Emirates Skywards
The Dubai Mall shopping mall loyalty program has partnered with an already established rewards program with the famous UAE airline, Emirates.
Catering to its largest demographic, which is tourists, The Dubai Mall allows its customers to earn Emirates Skyward Miles when shopping. These miles can be used to shop at retailers present in the mall, but also, all around the world with participating brands.
Additionally, the loyalty partnership allows customers to access travel-centric perks such as airline class upgrades, rent-a-car, or get hotel booking discounts.
And to top it all off, the Dubai Mall shopping app provides some extra convenience with an interactive map and a visit planner.
Main takeaway: The shopping loyalty program rewards don’t have to be limited to the mall itself. The program can remain successful as long as it caters to its target audience and provides value. At the same time, partnerships with different industries can increase store traffic.
The world-famous London department store proposes a tiered loyalty program that focuses on providing its most loyal customers with increasingly appealing rewards.
The loyalty program is in line with the brand values - luxurious rewards where the big spender is rewarded accordingly.
While the points system is quite classic (500 points for 1GBP), it’s the perks that are meant to provide the biggest appeal.
These advantages increase with the yearly amount spent, starting from standard discounts and to luxurious perks such as personal shoppers and free and guaranteed parking. This is an incredible advantage for a busy city like London, where downtown parking spots are practically non-existent.
With that said, the last tier offering isn’t that easy to obtain as one needs to spend more than 10.000 GBP per year.
Main takeaway: Harrod’s is a prime example that shopping mall loyalty programs don’t need to throw hundreds of rewards at their customers to be successful. By creating a loyalty program in line with their values, the store encourages customers to thrive towards more luxurious perks.
This Singaporean shopping mall group offers a discount-centered loyalty program for its most loyal customers.
In addition to exclusive offers, shoppers can collect points through purchases that can be redeemed for cash vouchers or parking rebates.
The loyalty program also offers higher tiers to those that spend over $25.000 per year. These provide additional perks such as free 6-hour parking and VIP access to relaxation services.
However, the best part of the program is the simple and intuitive application. It can be used as an all-in-one stop to search for discounts, book dining tables, redeem deals and receive invitations to exclusive events.
Main takeaway: ION orchard shows that having a well-made app can be the source of success of your loyalty program. By using its simple interface, customers can spend their points seamlessly throughout multiple services the mall offers, as well as participate in-store events.
The Westfield group operates throughout the world, with shopping centers in the US, EU, and Australia. While each country has a different approach to the shopping mall loyalty rewards, it’s the American one that we found to be the most interesting.
First, this loyalty program allows shoppers to directly link their credit cards to the loyalty program. This way, every time they make a purchase in any of the shops, loyalty points are automatically added to their account. It’s a great feature that reduces the inconvenience of having to present a QR code at the register or scan the receipts after purchase.
These rewards can range from redeemable vouchers to discounts at participating shops and even free meals at the restaurants in the mall.
The shopping mall app complements the program perfectly by allowing customers to consult their point balance and find the best deals to use them. Furthermore, the app has been updated to provide shoppers with additional information regarding COVID19 measures in real-time, allowing them to plan ahead.
And finally, program participants can use the app for its smart parking feature. By signing up with their license plate, they can reserve a spot before visiting and be let in automatically.
Main takeaway: Westfield plays the convenience card to its fullest. Their loyalty program functions in a way that it eliminates any type of pain point the shopper might have by removing all tedium from the shopping experience. Scanning receipts and looking for a parking spot suddenly become just a bad memory for the consumer.
Loyalty programs bring enormous benefits to shopping mall owners and tenants. They can become an all in one package where customers can consult their point balance and participate in cross-brand events and discounts. In addition to the rewards, they can provide tons of innovative time-saving features that make each visit to the mall worthwhile.
A noteworthy component of shopping mall loyalty programs is, of course, the mobile app that accompanies them. Not only this app can serve as a guide for shoppers but can be an invaluable tool for shopping mall managers as well. It can provide marketing teams with relevant data on customer behavior and the performance of their offers and discounts.
To summarize, in this article we:
- Defined what shopping mall loyalty programs are.
- Listed the possible advantages they bring to both the customer and the retailers.
- Provided a comprehensive list of the essential characteristics a shopping mall loyalty program should possess
- Listed top 5 shopping mall loyalty programs, each one with a particular twist.
Hopefully, this post provided you with enough information about shopping mall loyalty programs to give you some ideas on creating your own. Additionally, this article about the 6 stages of customer loyalty should also come in handy when you are brainstorming ideas about your loyalty program.