Do You Know What Makes Commercial Areas Popular?

Do You Know What Makes Commercial Areas Popular?

 We have become a generation that demands experiential experiences and as a result, our malls are no longer fulfilling to us if it is just a place to shop.  Commercial areas have noticed a decline in customer retention rates so they've gradually adapted to suite our needs and make us stay longer. In this article we explore the 5 strategies that commercial areas have implemented to become more experiential and desirable to shoppers. 

image ©  Stephen_Yu

image © Stephen_Yu

1) Gender Inclusiveness

One of the main reasons a mall fails at attaining people is because of the lack of gender inclusiveness. So while a female may be inclined to stay at the mall longer, a male counterpart is more likely to visit the stores they need to shop at and then leave the mall. So if a couple arrives, their time at the mall is likely to be short.

A way to address this issue is by transforming the mall experience into a lifestyle centre. Offering open air, semi-public places that have a resemblance of downtown and the mall, and incorporating nature are a few key components to making a successful experiential place.

image © Couturier Iron Craft, Inc.

image © Couturier Iron Craft, Inc.

2) Multi-Generational Opportunities

In addition to being appealing to both genders, the mall should provide opportunities for multi-generational visitors. The needs for seniors and millennials is vastly different. While many seniors enjoy observational activities from benches, millennials tend to enjoy visually stimulating activities and socializing among their peers. So including areas where the older generations can observe while the younger generations socialize among their peers is one way to achieve this harmony for multi-generational visitors.

image ©  Etc289

image © Etc289

3) Experiential Return on Investment

As mentioned before, a mall is no longer just a place to shop. Some now have entertainment sectors that feature movie theatres, laser tag areas or arcade based games. While others may also include physical experiences such as rock climbing walls, group fitness clubs, cross fit, and the like.

Despite the areas seeming out of place to some individuals, they have been giving others a reason to visit the mall or extend their stay. The activities are offering experiential returns on investments to the individuals that partake in them and it's not coincidental that these areas in malls are developing fast. 

image ©  Boris Dzhingarov

4) Cultivation of Community

When crowds form it tends pique the interest of other individuals and often times makes them gravitate towards the event. This is why sales can draw customers in but unless there is something outside of the sale, they are less likely stay. So that's why it's important for commercial areas to have other events beyond sales that can draw interest by customers. Some of the most popular techniques malls are using to achieve the sense of community is offering a rock climbing wall, an indoor skydiving experience, or green spaces that can naturally make people become spectators. 

5) Inclusive of All

Perhaps the most important element to a successful mall is inclusiveness. While you want your mall to attract multiple different demographics, this can be challenging to achieve since each individual will be going to the mall for a unique reason. So while you want to attract the customers, you also want to ensure that sensitive areas to customers such as gyms are separated from areas that would be frequented by a lot of shoppers like the food court. The essential component to achieving an inclusive environment is balance which is a result of smart layout design.

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Source: Stantec   Cover Photo: Citymalljo

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