- 84% of Consumers Intend To Visit The Mall When The Pandemic Is Over
- Innovation and Communication Are Important to Bring Back Consumer’s Trust
Jakarta, 14 Juni 2020 – Malls are now preparing to welcome visitors following the reopening of the shopping centers on June 15. The mall business is one of the sectors that suffered a heavy blow during the COVID-19 pandemic, whereby during the Large-Scale Social Distancing (PSBB) in DKI Jakarta, the number of mall visitors decreased by half (49%) from before, according to Nielsen’s recent study of the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior in visiting shopping centers in DKI Jakarta.
The Nielsen study revealed that 67% of consumers who previously visited the mall regularly intended to visit the mall after the PSBB is lifted up. Meanwhile, it seems that it will take time for the shopping center to be able to get their visitors back because even when the pandemic has ended, not all consumers (84%) say they intend to visit the mall again.
Regarding the mall visitor behavior, this study further shows that there will be a shifting. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the most common activities carried out by mall visitors were buying fast food and soft drinks such as bubble tea and coffee, or watching movies in the cinema. During PSBB, consumers visit malls mainly to shop for daily necessities or buy medicine / vitamins. When PSBB is lifted up or loosened, shopping for daily necessities is still the main activities of consumers who visit the mall, in addition to buying fast food, watching movies in theaters and hanging out with friends. When the pandemic ends, 65% of consumers say they want to visit the mall because they need to relax and need entertainment. This indicates that consumers are also looking forward to the the reopening of shopping centers because they may already feel bored after staying at home for almost the last three months.
The COVID-19 pandemic has an impact on consumer behavior shifting that now will prioritize health and hygiene factors. Shopping centers need to be able to bring back consumers’ confidence to return to visit, by ensuring the implementation of health protocols, both by the mall and by the tenants . Measuring body temperature and applying the discipline of wearing masks to all visitors and mall workers, providing hand sanitizer in every corner, making queue distance limitation and periodic disinfectant sprayings have become consumers’ demands to feel safe walking around the mall. In addition, consumers also expect that workers such as security officers, receptionists, restaurant waiters and cashiers are equipped with medical devices such as face shields, masks, gloves and hand sanitizers.
Visitors also tend to reduce touch interactions with the people and the surrounding environment, therefore shopping centers need to innovate. Rusdy Sumantri, Director of Consumer Insight, Nielsen Connect Indonesia, said, “Shopping centers can adapt technological innovations such as using touchless sensors on elevator buttons or parking ticket machines, and on appliances in the toilet area.” Rusdy believes that those efforts will be able to make visitors feel more safe and comfortable. “Providing a place for sterilization of groceries, for example by using UV light, can also be considered.” he continued.
Shopping center management or owners also need to put an effort in convincing consumers to feel safe when returning back to the mall with intense and regular communication. Rusdy said, “Shopping centers and brand owners must be brave to advertise a lot and show their positioning regarding the efforts that they make to ensure the safety of their visitors. Brand owners can take advantage of corporate social media accounts to strengthen engagement with consumers. Keep utilizing electronic media, print media or outdoor media will also greatly help reaching wider consumers. Communication content that shows the strength point of malls such as applying health protocols, using masks to workers, ways of serving and processing food with clean and healthy methods, as well as technological innovations that are adapted, wrapped this content in attractive and creative packaging will attract consumers to visit.”
“It is important for shopping centers or malls and their tenants to be able to accommodate consumers’ “new normal” habits. Not only related to the implementation of health protocols, but also to all efforts or innovations, the communication is very important to build visitors’ trust and rise again, as well as to run the business better in the future. ” Rusdy thus ended his explanation.
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