The age of communication for shopping malls

Written by:
Mike Mattingly
Shopping malls
Facebook Messenger
Conversations
Proactive Messaging
Live Chat
Website Visitor Monitoring

There may be no specific business vertical more challenged by our pandemic era than shopping centers and malls. The covid-19 pandemic has sliced the shopping centers' great Amazon defense - in person experiences. So now what? How do shopping centers, employers of millions of people, find new evolution tactics to once again survive and ultimately thrive?

The growing BOPIS and BOPIM movements are a smart step and these new forms of purchasing will last. They do have staying power but are they enough? If they are enough, what does it take to make them great, make them better than can be imagined? The answer to that question is great communication. If the execution is great, communication will lead to community and strong communities will outlast virus, and direct to home shipping challenges.

BOPIM (Buy Online, Pick-up in Mall) is a great idea but it's new and new ideas require great communication. BOPIM has created a new slate of customer questions and when shopping centers can't quickly and succinctly answer the BOPIM questions, doubt sets in and success is delayed or in some cases dies. Tens of millions of customers are confused and doubt is impacting their buying decisions. We know through our reporting they don't know what the rules are and they don't know how malls are responding to changing regulations. Our work with a mall focused same-day delivery company provided our first look into the doubt that impacts daily revenue. Adding our Rake Chat Box to your mall website and connecting Facebook Messenger and connecting Messages from Google Maps can help to minimize this problem. We do all of this and every message flows through one simple screen. We will simplify and improve your messaging experience, for all of your stakeholders.

Chat for your shopping property website is a great first step to help improve shopper experience. Adding chat creates extension opportunities that add a great deal of value for mall tenants. Why is this? When shopping centers use the Rake messaging platform, they receive four messaging components that piece together like a great puzzle. The first piece is website visitor monitoring. The output is a salesperson's dream. Real-time notifications are sent to shopping center agents saying another visitor has landed on the shopping center website. The notification includes visitor location, frequency, duration and pages visited. Agents are empowered to say 'HELLO' to the visitor. They can share updates about special programming and more or automation can be used to communicate without agent involvement. The second puzzle piece is the chat box installed on the shopping mall website. This is the #1 form of communication preferred by visitors. 41% prefer website chat. 32% prefer telephone. 23% prefer email and just 2% prefer social media. You visitors will engage with you through chat, so be prepared to answer them but if you don't have an answer, and if you're using Rake, you can connect them with your retailers, your tenants. This is part of the third piece of the puzzle - work chat or as many call it, team collaboration. The Rake team collaboration technology enables you to create communication channels for each tenant and larger groups. Perhaps a private group for all foodservice professionals at the shopping town center or a group for all kiosk tenants would serve you well. The Rake work team collaboration technology is what you'll use to help build or strengthen your shopping center community. When you improve your speed of communication, your inclusive communication and communication delivery, you will build raving fans among your tenants and when you allow them to use the same technology to improve their internal communication they will value their lease even more. The last piece to the puzzle is task management. Great communication always includes great follow up and our task management with due dates and reminders helps to improve follow up.

Rake messaging technology is not revolutionary. There are millions of companies using parts and pieces of this technology but to find all four pieces, organically connected, is very rare. To find it available for less than $1,000 per year is unheard of and the pricing will expire. We currently plan to increase pricing for new clients on April 1, 2021. Shopping centers are working to evolve every day, they must in order to survive. The Rake messaging platform should be part of the strategy.

Rake is currently building a universal messaging platform; visit rake.ai for information about the universal chat solutions we currently offer.

Are you a developer? Visit our documentation, found here.