The Dubai and in fact the entire UAE is full of shopping malls. The markets are stable, businesses are growing average people are earning far much than in any other Asian and Middle Eastern regions. The buying potential or purchase power is also relatively higher among UAE shoppers. That is why the shopping malls and retail sector is showing consistent growth. This also attracts more businesses and investors which raise the competition in the market. The market signals are also great. According to reports, the consumer spending has increased by 22% in first quarter of the year 2022 comparing to the first quarter of the 2021. Which is a great sign, it means that the customer spending is increasing. The steady growth, increase in retail spending and rise in consumer purchase power are the reasons the market is getting more competitive. New businesses are also entering in the market and the old players have also ramped up their efforts to attract more customers. For a shopping mall or any retail business the most important thing is the customer’s experience, if they managed to offer a satisfactory customer experience, they will succeed in their goals and objectives and vice versa.
The shopping malls in Dubai and all around the UAE are equipped with most modern technologies and digital solutions which help them improve their capabilities and strategies to ensure the customers get what they want. Happy customers tend to return, returning customers means more business. If you start shopping from a place over and over again, you will end up establishing an invisible bond with that particular shopping mall. This behavior tend to make your customers more loyal. Loyal customers tend to do repeated business and they also tend to be a good brand advocate. Which help shopping malls getting positive feedback and promotion. Which eventually attracts more customers. It acts like a chain, one after another. The shopping malls tend to rent out their spaces, shops and premises. They also have to make sure their tenants gets enough footfall to be profitable which is also profitable for the shopping mall. The customer happiness and the tenant satisfaction are two major factors that contributes to a shopping mall’s success. Each shopping mall have different strategies, which makes them attractive for the visitors and shoppers. The footfall analytical tool helps shopping mall building those strategies and it also help them evaluating them. In this blog we will cover how the footfall analytical tool can help shopping malls to offer satisfactory experience to customers and tenants.
What is Footfall Analytical Tool?
The footfall analytical tool is a system that helps shopping malls and retail businesses to measure the number of people entering and leaving the premises and help them relate this KPI (key performance indicator) with the sales pattern and customer behavior. Let us start with a smaller example of a retail store. In retail store the managers always keep changing the product placements, their inventory and positioning of products, belongs to different categories, for example, if you are placing a t-shirt next to a Jeans section, the chances are you will get rise in sales of both items. However, if you put Male T-shirts next to Women’s perfume, this will not going to help with any of them. This may sound very simple, however, it isn’t. The store managers knows that very well, that is why if they could get the data about the sales pattern which can be related to the changes they are making, it will help them understand the effectiveness of their strategy. The shopping malls are no different, just think of a shopping mall a macro or larger version of a small store, instead of products, the shopping malls usually manage different business categories business types.
The footfall analytical tool is a combination of software and hardware. There are some dedicated hardware devices that are installed on strategic places to count the number of people entering or leaving that particular areas, entrance, or the entire premises. Now a days the footfall analytical tools or people counting software are powered by AI (artificial intelligence) which not only enables them to count the number of people entering or leaving, but it make them more capable of gathering high-level business intelligence data which might include, demographic data, customers’ behavior, their dwell time, heat map of the entire premises and much more. The footfall analytical tool or people counting software can be integrated with the CCTV Security Systems as well. Where it can get the live-stream from all connected CCTV cameras and process it in real-time to extract the data which help shopping mall management in understanding the shoppers’ behavior in more depth with better accuracy.
The Footfall Analytical Tool Helps Increasing Traffic Flow for the Tenants/Sections
The shopping malls organize different tenants in relevant categories, and prefer to place them in proximity so the shoppers can get all the available options in a single section. Let say, if someone wants to purchase shoes, all retail stores selling shoes are placed on the second floor in a single block, so all they need is to go to that area and they will be able to see all available options in a smaller area, they don’t have to ran through the entire mall to visit all shoe stores. That is logical too, if all relevant tenants are placed in a single block, or nearby the chances are they will attract much narrower audience groups. However, that is not what always help. It means that if someone is interested in shoes, they might not explore any other category. Which means other areas would not get that particular traffic. A shopping mall wants maximum exposure for all its tenants. That is why they strategically place different kinds of store in different places and different areas, which compel the shoppers and visitors to go to different sections, where they can also find different products. This means other stores who are not selling shoes can also get the audience that might not originally interested in their products, but the chances to get a sale are increased.
The footfall analytical tool help shopping malls to understand the customer flow and behavior and help them to place different businesses in different spaces, sections or areas to keep the traffic mixed which means the second floor could get all the traffic whether the customers are interested in shoes or if they are interested in any other item. Furthermore the shopping mall regularly utilizes several marketing tactics to improve customer flow and to increase footfall in certain areas. These marketing strategies usually involve digital screens, signboards, banners, etc. This help shopping malls to regulate the customer flow in certain areas, where usually less people are going. All such efforts take time and are also expensive. The footfall analytical tool help shopping malls evaluate such strategies and help them understand the customers’/shoppers’ response towards them. Hence the shopping malls can easily improve those strategies and increase customer footfall in areas where usually less customers are going. It provide businesses a chance to get more footfall which also increase their sale.
The Footfall Analytical Tool Helps Boosting Mall Profits and Revenue
The shopping mall’s revenue is depends on the tenants. The rental rates are not entirely based on the size but also on the location. The places near to entrances or closer to entertainment sections might have higher rents comparing to other places. In multi-story shopping malls, usually the higher floors got lower rental rates. There are a lot of moving pats here, even the adjacent tenants and sections also matters. All these things and several others are used to decide the rental rates. The tenant also consider all those factors. Here in Dubai and all around the UAE this is usually done on the basis mindset of the tenant and the negotiation between the sales staff and the tenant. The biggest concern of any tenant is the footfall. The tenant always consider how much traffic they will receive as it is considered to be directly proportion to the sales they will get. With a smart footfall analytical tool in place, the shopping malls can easily present the data to the tenants and provide them highly accurate stats which help them negotiate the rental rates and also help them securing a good deal. This also ensures tenant satisfaction as they know the place they are renting will receive adequate amount of traffic. Which help shopping malls in boosting their revenue and profits.
The Footfall Analytical Tool Helps Increasing Customer Engagements
Every tenant in the shopping mall and every shopping mall wants to increase customer engagements. The concept of customer engagement in terms of shopping malls is entirely different from the ordinary customer engagement idea. Here customer engagement means customer flow, footfall or people count, customer dwell time and obviously the sales and conversions. The customer churn is one of the biggest problem any business faces. In shopping mall it is also wide spread. People usually enters in store but don’t purchase anything. Similarly people who are visiting shopping malls doesn’t purchase or doesn’t purchase much. Let say if you are going to a shopping mall, enjoying the environment, using the WiFi, meeting, spending time there but bought only a bottle of water or just a juice, then the sale the shopping mall gets from you is only a few dirhams, however, their expense on providing you all these free services is a lot higher. This is what the shopping malls wants to minimize, obviously they don’t want to stop offering all these free services, but they want customers to engage with the businesses and make a purchase.
The most effective strategy to attain higher customer engagements is to arrange an optimal mix of businesses/stores which ensures maximum customer interaction. Mostly shopping malls in Dubai and all around the UAE operates on a simpler policy which is purely based on opportunity, and a basic tenant segmentation. This strategy is very simple, but lacks systematic and analytical approach. There are always some stores which drive most traffic, despite the fact that their own sale is comparatively lower. There are some stores, which always attract customers, and have potential of spontaneous sales. When customers reach to such stores, they instantly make a decision based on the products or offers the store is offering. This requires shopping malls to analyze each and every area carefully, and also help them correlate that data to the store category. The data-driven decisions are the one who take you to the success. The footfall analytical tool provide necessary data which allow shopping malls to create a blend of different stores/categories and help them tap into the larger audience. Which in return increase the customer engagement as well as the sales of the stores.
The Footfall Analytical Tool Helps Developing Effective Marketing Strategies
For any mall the marketing is a key to success. However, there is very less data available for the traditional marketing methods. Usually when shopping malls place a digital signage or a video wall or any other advertisements, they don’t have a mechanism to measure the success or how much customers viewed it or showed interest in it. However, with the footfall analytical tool shopping malls can accurately measure how many people viewed it with the in-built heat map and customer dwell time features. The heat map shows the traffic passed by the signage or video wall or advert. And the customer dwell time accurately measures how many customers showed interest in it. The customer dwell time feature can accurately measure the number of customers who stood in front of the advert and also the time they spend in front of it. This data is crucial to measure the success of any marketing campaign. Furthermore the advance image processing and AI (artificial intelligence) engine is capable of capturing the demographic data such as age group, gender, etc. Which also help shopping malls to understand their customers and audience. Such information is crucial for the success of any marketing campaign.
Furthermore the shopping mall footfall analytical tool is also capable of storing and analyzing the historic data which allow shopping malls to perform several different analysis to extract useful information. This information is very helpful in learning about shoppers’ behavior and various trends. For example, the people counting software or footfall analytical tool is capable of accurately identifying the busy hours. It can detect and measure any change in the trends and is also capable of providing comparison data with the past. Such information provide great insight to customer behavior. Businesses can measure the success of their marketing campaign as well as the impact of any promotion/marketing done by the tenants. The footfall analytical tools can also be linked with the tenants’ POS data and help shopping malls measure the overall sales made and also provide better understanding of the customer churn rate. Such information help shopping mall develop effective marketing campaigns.
The Footfall Analytical Tool Improve Staff Planning and Operations
The shopping malls witness different footfall during peak hours, non-peak hours, weekends, holidays and special occasions. For that the management has to plan human resource (staff) and also other stuff to ensure smooth operations and happy customer experience. The footfall analytical tools comes with AI based smart algorithms which have ability to detect and differentiate the staff from the customers. The footfall analytical tool can also capture the movements and track staff activity. Which provide management a deeper insight to staff performance as well. With the clear and accurate data available about the customer traffic, the mall management can easily plan resources to deal with the busy hours, and they can also effectively track the performance of the staff. The effective staff management is very crucial and is mandatory to achieve higher operational capabilities. The shopping mall management can also analyze staff during the peak and non-peak hours, which provide them a better understanding of the staff placements. The performance data also help them in understanding how effective their staff management strategy is. Good staff management led to better and smoother operations.
The Footfall Analytical Tools is very Cost-effective Solution
The traditional people counting software usually require dedicated devices and sensors which are hardware devices and had to be installed on all strategic places. This also limit their vision and the shopping malls cannot get enough data insight from the traditional people counting software. However, the footfall analytical tools is based on AI based smart algorithms and image processing features. Which enable them to offer full-coverage. The footfall analytical tools only require CCTV camera feeds and the data has been collected in real-time from the live feeds. The shopping mall doesn’t require to install any new hardware at all. The new hardware might require changes, civil work, cable pulling, and network. However, the footfall analytical tools doesn’t require any of this. In fact there is no additional hardware, it only require the feed from the existing CCTV security system. The AI powered framework also enable footfall analytical tools to easily get integrated with any type or model of CCTV recording devices. Which also makes it more cost-effective. The footfall analytical tool can be hosted on cloud or online hosting which means there would be no strain on the in-house IT or infrastructure which further help reducing the cost and running expense. These advantages make footfall analytical tools very cost-efficient.
The shopping malls in Dubai and all around the UAE are increasing day by day. Whether it is new startups or new branches of existing brand, the competition is rising. This demand shopping malls to improve their strategies and make sure their offerings are making their customers happier. Furthermore the shopping malls also have to manage many tenants. The traditional methods are losing their impact day by day. The shopping malls has to come up with a more modernized and more impactful tactics and strategies. The footfall analytical tools or people counting systems are the modern solution to the modern problems the shopping malls are facing. Shopping malls can accurately measure the count of shoppers and visitors, they can link the data to the tenant’s POS which help them understand various sales patterns. The Shopping malls can evaluate their marketing campaigns and various strategies with the help of the business intelligence data provided by the footfall analytical tool.
The staff monitoring and performance tracking allow the management to effectively manage the staff to ensure maximum performance. Especially is very helpful in dealing with peak-hours, special occasions, weekends or any other event which results in unusual footfall. RSI Concepts is a leading software development agency in Dubai, UAE. If you want to learn more about the subject or if you are a shopping mall manager or retails store manager/owner looking to implement a cost-effective footfall analytical tool. Please feel free to contact us through our Contact Us page or leave a comment in the comment box below and we will get in touch with you soon.
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