A declining attendance rate

Shopping centers are gigantic meeting places where attendance seems to be stagnating. This stagnation is occurring mainly in Europe but is also happening in the United States. Naturally, shopping centers are very different depending on the organizations that manage them. Also, the number of visitors is correlated with the dynamism of the cities that welcome them.

KlĂ©pierre, the number one organization in Europe in this sector, has developed no less than 180 shopping centers in France (the famous Val d’Europe and CrĂ©teil Soleil are two examples). Its chairman, Jean-Marc Jeyssin, recalled in a recent interview given to RTL that its turnover grew by nearly 2.7% in 2017. This represented an asymmetrical development compared to that of Carrefour France, for example. So why do these opposite trajectories exist?

 

Create link to increase visitor rate

it is probably because we know why we come here and because KlĂ©pierre offers many activities outside the trade within the centers, such as a nursery, a concert hall or meetings with artists from various kinds. But perhaps it is also because the safety and the mobility of visitors are both concerns that they take seriously. More than half of the visitors wish to interact directly with their favorite shopping center via social networks and KlĂ©pierre has recognized this expectation. The ability to ask questions, find one’s bearings easily and get solutions immediately (i.e. when one is already in the commercial space) all seem to be natural instincts for many consumers. For these reasons they want to use their smartphone in the commercial areas as naturally as when they search for their route on Google Maps.

 

The MapWize app to make it easier for visitors to get around

This is why KlĂ©pierre has provided its spaces with a real-time Facebook page and this is also the reason for integrating the MapWize solution into the shopping center’s apps. MapWize can provide a map of all buildings and the user can create their route from one shop or space to another. They only need to follow the indications and their personalized course is immediately optimized. This saves time and prevents them from getting lost. It also provides valuable data that the organization can use later to encourage more visits to some shops.

It is easy to imagine that one goal of utilizing the data collected is to control the flow of people in a very busy place, and that this can lead to improvements in the security of visitors and staff. Visualizing visitors’ itineraries in real time not only guides them, but also can detect anomalies or temporary difficulties. The interaction with the app becomes natural for the visitor—they can receive any kind of alert, including, but not limited to, promotions. Between messaging on social networks and tracking the route on a map, they can get an appointment or be directed to the nearest exit via a single signal. They will be able to find their relatives eating strawberry ice cream at the other end of the center or go to the rescue if there is an accident.

Being connected and giving information about exact locations of visitors in a commercial space is not yet automatic. It is therefore up to Klépierre (and other fleet managers) to create value for their customers by offering them an improved service. Security is a focal point for everyone—retailers as well as their customers. Everyone needs to feel protected at all times. Here again, the technology of geolocation must be at the service of the customers and the collective well-being.