Areas and Places

Eris launches SA’s first bilingual shopping centre websites with chatbots

South Africa’s first-ever bilingual shopping centre websites with chatbots

Eris Property Group (Pty) Ltd. has made history with the launch of South Africa’s first ever bilingual shopping centre websites with chatbots.

The websites, conceptualised, designed and developed by boutique marketing agency, The Blue Room, celebrates South Africa’s diversity, seeking to forge lasting bonds with consumers.

The first website, an isiXhosa / English website is for The Mall, KWT – a mall in the Eastern Cape town of King William’s Town and the second website, an Afrikaans/English website is for Plattekloof Shopping Centre – in the Cape Town northern suburb of Plattekloof. Both malls are owned by Momentum Metropolitan Life Limited and managed by the Eris Property Group.

The Mall, KWT’s consumers are predominantly amaXhosa, English or bilingual whereas Plattekloof Shopping Centre’s market is predominantly Afrikaans, English or both. Both websites offer consumers information about the shopping centres, their stores, events and more. They also feature chatbots that communicate in the respective languages.

We are always looking for exciting, innovative ways of connecting with our shoppers and we are thrilled about the launch of these two websites. In a diverse country such as ours, which has eleven official languages, it is important that we celebrate these identities in an inclusive manner” comments Marketing Manager, Nobambo Goduka.

The time of speaking at consumers needs to be a thing of the past. Now is the time for us to have actual conversations with them. We need to come together with our shoppers on a human level and what better way than through communicating with them in their mother tongue?

Creator, The Blue Room, is no stranger to innovation and walked away with four awards at the South African Council of Shopping Centres’ annual Footprint Marketing awards last year – two of which were for digital campaigns, one of those, another South African first.

Innovation is one of the pillars of our company and I am so proud of my team’s work on this project. We are grateful to Eris Property Group for entrusting us with the opportunity to push boundaries and do something new for the industry” says Andreana Holmes, founding member and CEO of The Blue Room

We have brought together one of the oldest mediums, language; as well as a newer medium, the internet, to break down boundaries between consumer and brand.” 

Project lead, Jono Duguid, who is a Digital Marketing Specialist at The Blue Room added: “Globally, we are seeing a move towards the celebration of diversity through inclusivity – especially online – and it has been really special to create these two solutions for Eris Property Group.”  

At a time where loyalty is hard earned, consumers are exercising their right of choice at an accelerated rate with the fourth industrial revolution moving rapidly.