More and more, malls rely on security equipment not just for loss prevention or other security applications, but for the purposes of business intelligence and generating more revenue. In this regard, analytics plays a crucial part.
More and more, malls rely on security equipment not just for loss prevention or other security applications, but for the purposes of business intelligence and generating more revenue. In this regard, analytics
plays a crucial part.
For the longest time, malls concern themselves primarily with theft and loss prevention, for which video surveillance and other security equipment are used.
Yet over time, mall operators have found additional benefits of using their equipment – that is, to understand more about customers’ profiles and behavior so they can staff and configure their facilities accordingly to attract customers and boost their shopping experience
The latter, especially, has gained importance in this day and age when malls and physical stores need to compete with their virtual counterparts. “The way in which people shop has been slowly changing. With the rise in popularity of online shopping, people can get anything they like delivered to their door, so the reasons they attend malls is for the whole experience,” said a recent blog post
by Axis Communications.
“Malls now and in the future are about giving visitors unique experiences, sometimes referred to retail-tainment,” it adds. “Shopping malls are environments where people gather to meet friends, connect with like-minded shoppers and interact with brands.”
To enable retailers to achieve these ends, mall operators increasingly turn to technology to better identify and understand who their customers are and what they do.
“According to a report by AT Kearney, mall operators will need to master two sets of technologies to achieve a seamless customer experience,” the post said. “These are technologies consumers use in their daily life to communicate and conduct commercial activities, and technologies businesses will use to identify individual shoppers, track purchases, calculate dwell times, analyze behavior, communicate with customers and create real-time merchandising, marketing, advertising and promotional opportunities.”
How analytics can help
In this sense, retail analytics have come to play an increasingly important role. In one example cited by the post, it’s critical to have insights on mall traffic, which reflects the sales opportunity generated by the shopping center, and mall-to-store conversion reflects how well the tenants capture that opportunity and ultimately convert it into sales.
provides insights in mall activity, trends, peak periods, and some top-level impact assessment on effects of additional factors such as the weather, holidays and promotions. Visitor counting data can also give insights into the best timings for running daily marketing campaigns to drive consumers in store,” it said.
The post added mall operations managers spend a lot of time determining the best mix of stores for the mall’s catchment area. “Visitor counting paired with other data, for example demographics insights (such as age and gender), can help with this by comparing the popularity and performance of different retail store locations within the center, as well as cross store visits, to see what sort of consumers visit the mall and how they behave while there,” it said.
According to the post, another important area for mall operators that also relates to customer behavior is optimizing the site’s layout. “Using analytics like visitor counting, dwell time and heatmaps
, operators can lead to a sound understanding of customer flow in the mall. This includes identifying hotspots and bottlenecks in the layout and assessing layout changes, as well as showing the impact time-based activities, such as pop up stores have on in-mall experience,” it said. “This intelligence can then be further applied to assessing the impact potential tenants will have on the mall and even extended to helping inform rent pricing structures.”