The Background & Challenge

Through our monthly research for County Mall, we discovered that the average spend from shoppers within a 15-20 minute drive-time was +50% more than the average spend in the rest of the catchment.

To attract shoppers in this 20-minute drive-time ‘sweet spot’, it was determined that any activation or event at the centre needed to be something that hadn’t been seen in the region before.

The budget available didn’t facilitate building a completely new experiential event from scratch, so the team researched MANY different offers and decided on a unique virtual reality (VR) experience available through an Italian supplier which offered the required point of difference – could be branded specifically for County Mall and hadn’t been brought into our catchment previously.

The Solution

A real hot-air balloon was installed within the mall offering a virtual reality experience to customers throughout August. Suspended off the ground, customers were able to step into the balloon basket for an immersive experience without ever leaving the mall! The virtual reality tour took customers on an 8-minute journey through the skies with the movement and sensation of truly being lifted off the ground.

A digital app was available to scan a trail of images at the various installs to redeem retailer offers, and completion of the trail allowed shoppers to enter a competition to win a competition sponsored by Drusilla’s Zoo. Every customer that entered received bespoke bounce-back offers via email, which were replicated on-site in leaflet form, leading to increased retailer sales in all participating tenants’ stores.

Competitions were used to encourage campaign engagement on social media to ensure that we got as much ‘social buzz’ from people liking and sharing pictures and videos of this highly visual experience. Product displays were placed around the event space area, highlighting desirable items from family-oriented retailers. Large animal themed installations were installed as a trail around the mall, motivating shoppers to circulate to the traditionally quieter areas of the mall. The safari themed animal installations were a play on exotic locations that you might associate with taking a hot-air balloon ride.

County Mall has an actively engaged Kid’s Club which at the time of the summer event had +3000 family members, so it was important to incorporate a number of Kid’s Club events within the campaign to attract these loyal shoppers into the centre during the school holidays. Three ‘safari themed’ Kid’s Club event days were therefore programmed around the balloon installation with actors entertaining the crowds of customers with +300 Kid’s Club families visiting on each of these three event days alone.

All of the on-site activity was underpinned with a strong customer engagement strategy powered by Velocity’s data, personalisation and insights platform, Darius®, which included capturing valuable shopper data at every promotional touch-point, matching the right event and promotional content with the right shopper profile before they visited the centre, while they were on-site and following up after they left with incentives to return.

Outperformed the national average by 7.1%

The Results

  • 9% year-on-year increase in number in shoppers coming from target areas located within 15-20 minute drive-time during the campaign period.
  • The centre’s footfall outperformed the national average footfall by 7.1% during the campaign period.
  • 6% increase in family shoppers throughout the campaign period. Family shoppers were at 58% - a 22% increase vs. national average (36%).
  • Dwell time in the centre increased by 4% year-on-year.
  • Average spend per shopper rose by 9% year-on-year during the promotional period.
  • 86% of all tenants engaged in the campaign through a combination of running a special offer, featuring products in on-site displays and product guide, or sampling.