Using Tablets In Malls For Marketing to Shoppers

Using tablets in malls for marketing to shoppers is coming to a mall near you… and you… and you too! Malls around the world are on a never ending search for new ideas, technologies, and other marketing-related products and services, which can help them achieve their goal of obtaining maximum rental income from all stores renting space within the mall. As a business, malls are like landlords for store owners. They rent store space to businesses and provide a place for consumers to go to shop, so basically malls bring businesses and consumers together in one central location. The more consumers they attract, and the longer malls get consumers to stay in the mall, the more valuable their rental space becomes to businesses. This is why malls are always looking for new marketing ideas. Tablets are the perfect new marketing tool for malls.

Why Should Malls Use Tablets for Marketing?

Tablets are the perfect marketing tool for malls. Using different apps malls can engage consumers with digital content relevant to their shopping experience right in the mall. Picture walking into your local mall. If there were a bunch of iPads secured in free standing iPad kiosks with animations of some sort displayed on the iPad, would you not walk up to one of the iPad kiosks and start tapping around? I’ve seen it first hand, tablets like the iPad capture people’s attention and draw them in. Ask anyone who’s used an iPad in their store or at a trade show, people simply cannot walk past an iPad that’s available for them to interact with, without interacting! There are so many fun and engaging marketing tactics that malls can run through tablets. Before we cover a few of those ideas, here are a few benefits to malls that I see from initiating an in-store tablet marketing strategy at a mall:

  • Generate buzz and capture attention within the local community – Let’s face it, using tablets in a mall to engage consumers is still a new idea. I’ll bet malls would get local media coverage from this new initiative if they reached out to a few local news outlets and explained to them why they are using tablets and how they are using tablets in the mall.
  • Keep shoppers in the mall longer – Depending on the types of marketing tactics malls decided to run through the iPad, such as scavenger hunts, coupon distribution, etc., shoppers might end up staying in the mall longer than they anticipated, thus increasing the chance that they will spend more money than they originally planned.
  • Generate ad revenue from stores in the mall – Again, depending on the apps that a mall decides to use (or create), they could potentially run ads for the stores who rent store space at the mall to help generate more awareness for the store, its products & services, and potentially any sales or promotions they are offering. This new revenue source could potentially cover the entire cost of setting up the tablets.

3 Ways Malls Can Use Tablets for Marketing

Now that we know why malls should use tablets for marketing, let’s move on to the fun stuff, how can malls use tablets for marketing… If you follow our blog then you know that we are still in the beginning stages of this new marketing trend, in-store tablet marketing, so currently the number of third party applications available for businesses like malls to use at their physical locations are still limited. That said, the number is growing every day, and as more and more companies begin using tablets for marketing in their stores, more third party apps with be developed. That said, there are enough third party apps out there currently to make this new marketing idea for malls successful. Not only that, but malls also have the option of developing a custom application for use in their mall. Each of these strategies will allow the mall to execute different marketing tactics. Below are three ways malls can use tablets for marketing to shoppers:

  • Mall contests on the iPad – My local mall is always running a contest. That said, the execution of it is usually more trouble than it’s worth, so I don’t usually participate. Instead of the old paper and pen sign-up forms, now malls can use an app like OnSpot Social to collect data to run a contest on an iPad. It’s cleaner. It’s easier to track for the mall. It’s easier to participate for the consumer. Win-Win!
  • Offer coupons to stores within the mall – Many stores in the mall normally run promotions, whether it’s a sale or they offer some sort of coupon, stores are always trying to entice consumers to purchase their products and services instead of their competitors’. For a small fee from the stores, malls can asdvertise the different promotions OR even better, can actually list the coupons on the tablet. With a few taps on the screen, a little data entry from the consumer, and BOOM, a coupon emailed to the consumer’s smart phone. In real-time the mall has collected a lead, shared a coupon with a consumer, and the consumer now has that coupon on her smart phone so she can go make a purchase and receive that discount. Pretty powerful stuff, huh? I’m thinking store owners might just be willing to compensate the mall for their help!
  • Mall directories and maps on tablets – Malls should consider replacing those expensive looking mall directories with digital maps on the iPad. No more squinting to try and find the store you’re looking for. Simply perform a search for the store and up pops directions to get there. Now, I don’t know if there are any iPad apps out there that can do exactly this, so this is where the custom app development we discussed above might come in handy, but I guarantee that if the app doesn’t already exist, it will soon enough. This tablet marketing tactic would save malls money in the long run as they wouldn’t have to build those big mall directories anymore, and it would also provide more value to their customers (mall shoppers) as it would be easier to use than the big directories.

So these are just a few of the many ideas I can think of off the top of my head. I’m sure you have 3 or 4 additional ideas that I didn’t even touch on. It just seems like such a perfect marriage… tablets + malls = happy shoppers & store owners. What other ways can malls use tablets for marketing? Leave a comment below with your ideas and let’s discuss the benefits of each. I look forward to reading your ideas!