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THE MEDIA NOV_2018 - TMOL

Mal Media pendulum is swinging fast towards online retail and digital for transactions, it will swing back to where the consumer wants to have an experience with the brand both physically and digitally. They want to connect. Then they will choose the path through which to purchase,” he explains. Pivotal role of mall media Despite, or perhaps because of, the changing shopping culture, mall media has a pivotal role to play, linking the physical environment to brands and consumers across a number of different channels. Online shopping, while on an upward trajectory, won’t replace shopping malls just yet, says John Faia, general manager of Mall Ads, a division of the Provantage Media Group. “South Africa’s shopping mall culture is still too strong and e-commerce or e-shopping still has a journey to follow in order to gain serious traction versus how people shop today,” says Faia. “If anything, the evolution from bricks to clicks will be driven by major brands and anchor tenants that already have a presence in malls. There is also a move for online shops to have a bricks and mortar presence in malls, look at Amazon,” he says. The global e-commerce giant opened its first physical, albeit cashless, store in January 2018 and according to Business Insider, plans to launch 3 000 Amazon Go retailers in three years. On the South African front, online kitchenware company, Yuppie Chef, has opened physical stores, and punts itself as an “omni-channel retailer”. Scott Matthews, new business development manager at Moving Tactics Retail Analytics, says South Africa can expect to see “an increase in omni-channel shopping and bringing digital innovations to brick and mortar retailers”. Customers, he says, are already using their mobile devices to cross-check prices from other online retailers, delivering an opportunity to use this behaviour “to close the loop”. All of which points to the increasing importance of multichannel mall media. And not just in the tech sense. Malls, as Faia says, provide multiple touchpoints and ensure a balanced mix of static, digital and experiential mediums and offerings. “In order for a campaign to have impact, a brand needs to consider a variety of touchpoints – branding, promoters, billboards and other mediums that create awareness and impact,” he says. “Brands would be missing a trick if they didn’t include malls in their multi-channel strategy, especially if the campaign is national. Malls are where consumers are at; it is the last point of influence before they make a purchasing decision.” Yet it is still an “undervalued” medium, and not an immediate option for brand managers planning campaigns, says Faia. “The opportunity for mall media among most major brands is seen as a tactical opportunity or a bolt-on to major campaigns that have a national footprint with a strong above the line presence.” The opportunities for strategic innovation are there, but, says Faia, South African “retailers and landlords are lagging behind in terms of innovative solutions that create experiences for shoppers”. Mall Ads recently launched Mall TV (which gives P 16 The Media | wagthedog.co.za


THE MEDIA NOV_2018 - TMOL
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