Attacq Limited has launched its innovative online retail app, SHôPING. As part of the listed REIT’s Customer Experience strategy aimed at putting the customer back at the centre of the retail experience, the app leverages the latest in smartphone technology to curate unique experiences for consumers.
Given the rise of international ecommerce, prioritising digital touchpoints is the most effective way to ensure relevance for a brand, or retail destination, on today’s cluttered customer journey. This involves making malls more vibrant and modern with a digital layer of experiences that complement the tangible value-adds and atmosphere of the physical, lifestyle and entertainment proposition that is the mall experience.
Since the onset of the pandemic, traditional brick-and-mortar retail centres have struggled to maintain footfall and relevance, especially in the face of an online shopping environment that has accelerated in response to restrictions on mobility, public spaces, and social gatherings. Shopping centres that averted disaster were those able to pivot to omnichannel strategies that prioritised user experience and convenience. Attacq, the owners and asset managers of Mall of Africa, the largest single-phase mall ever built in Africa, will lead the charge with the introduction of its new app.
“Shopping centres are by their very nature, physical entities. However, in era in which we are all required to physically distance, we believed it important to bridge the divide between bricks and mortar and online, by facilitating a curated experience attuned to the needs and wants of each mall visitor,” comments Michael Clampett, Head of Asset and Property Management: Retail at Attacq.
The SHôPING app was specifically designed to change the way visitors experience the mall. The app facilitates integrated digital engagement with the mall’s shopper community. Users are eligible for parking perks, can navigate the Mall of Africa at the touch of a button, and most innovatively, users are able to send and redeem digital gift vouchers whilst also earning loyalty stamps from their favourite participating stores. App users can receive ‘ZAKA’, a virtual currency that can be redeemed at participating stores, by way of a gift from an employer, friend, family or even reload their ‘ZAKA’ wallet themselves as well as gain access to Attacq’s interconnected loyalty programme.
Jackie van Niekerk, incoming CEO at Attacq, says “Our main objective with SHôPING was to integrate the online and offline world for an effective and incentivised user experience. We wanted to help facilitate customer product research at home in the build to that potential shopper’s planned trip to the mall. By leveraging smartphone and cloud technology we were able to deliver a personalised experience that engages the customer even before they arrive at the mall. Notifications and messages about relevant promotions or products will also be shared instantaneously to enhance the experience of visiting one of our retail destinations.”
The SHôPING app will be rolled out at Mall of Africa as first-phase, and then later across all Attacq’s retail portfolio. In collaboration with the project team at Attacq, the Dashpay team, a subsidiary of the JSE listed, Capital Appreciation Limited, also deserve special acknowledgment in seeing ShoPING through to fruition in partnership with the Attacq team. Watch this space for further developments.