New technologies are a real opportunity to improve the customer experience – something the retail sector understands well: over 60% of points of sales have gone digital.
At Klépierre, the European leader in shopping centres (Créteil Soleil, Val d’Europe, Prado in Marseille, Saint-Lazare in Paris; etc.), everything is geared towards providing a rewarding, personalised customer experience. Apps, beacons… Elise Masurel, the Group’s Marketing Director, took us behind the scenes of the Klépierre customer experience.
Elise Masurel is Marketing Director at Klépierre, a major property developer specialising in shopping centres in Europe. She joined the Group at the end of 2015 to manage some major projects: CRM and digital, branding and the content strategy, the customer experience for the Clubstore® programme, PR and events.
using digital to build “hospitality, klepierre-style”
In what way has digital helped you improve the customer experience in your shopping centres?
Digital is a major tool for simplifying and enhancing the customer experience: the two are inextricably linked. The aim of our ClubStore® is really to design an experience that is both suited to all our customers and highly original. This involves thinking about design, comfort and practicality, but also introducing fun and events, because that’s what brings customers back.
Clubstore® was rolled out in 2013 and we improve it regularly, and in this respect, digital is a wonderful opportunity. For example, we now have a mobile application whereby customers say what their favourite brands are. We can then send them targeted content and special offers. This is an example of the way digital can be used to personalise and streamline the customer experience.
What methods do you use to identify customer expectations?
First of all, as soon as a customer agrees to let us put their details into our database, we send them a qualification email to get additional information on their profile so we can get a better idea of their preferences. Then we can personalise our communication.
The second part of our strategy involves getting our customers to complete satisfaction surveys so they can tell us what they think of our digital platform and events, find out what they like and don’t like about our brand campaigns.
We’re also setting up a third project which is still in the pilot phase at a few of our shopping centres. It’s a software program that plugs directly into Wi-Fi hotspot: when a customer wants to log onto the Wi-Fi at one of our shopping centres, they can do so via the Facebook Connect button. If they choose this option, we can combine the physical data, i.e. what they’re doing at the shopping centre, with their social network history and thus get to know them better so we can offer them more personalised content.
using beacons to send real-time, personalised special offers
Tell us about your app
It enables you to do several things. First, find your way around, which is often a major headache in shopping centres. It also provides info on opening times, which our customers find really useful, and the latest news and special offers for the retailers in our centres. And thanks to beacons we can send them real-time special offers. We are currently testing this service, which has been around since 2015, at our Créteil Soleil shopping centre in the suburbs of Paris.
How do you collaborate with the various brands at your centres?
Where beacons are concerned, we offer them technology they might not otherwise have the time or resources to try out. With a centre like Créteil Soleil, which has 20 million visitors a year, that’s a really large-sale operation.
Also, beacon technology allows us to gather data: we can find out, for example, when a customer stops to look at a shop window, goes into a store and to the checkout. We have a very accurate design of the consumer pathway so that means the brands can assess the advantages of real-time personalised offers, and thus generate more in-store traffic.
1.5 messages READ per visit
How can you measure the return on investment?
We can’t always track conversion rates, as we don’t always have access to the shop tills. But what we can measure is the number of push notifications viewed, which is 1.5 per visit – bearing in mind we send a maximum of 3 notifications per visit to avoid “bombarding” customers. The click rate is 6%, which is encouraging because the average is typically around 4% in the retail sector.
=> Also on our blog: Heloise Beldico-Pachot: how Banque Postale is improving the customer experience
How do you get customers to download the app?
We have to offer new services regularly, and we set up gamification systems whereby customers can win gift vouchers, for example.
In addition to the application, which is central to the consumer pathway at our shopping centres, we’re also working on our web site. It’s the gateway to our centres: when people look for information, that’s where they go, so there’s a real issue with natural referencing. We wanted it to be rather high-end, and feedback from customers has been very positive.
The aim is to offer quality content. At the moment, we have the catalogues of 6,000 brands from all over Europe on our website, and around 50,000 special offers are promoted. We post over 40 new articles a week to make sure customers keep coming back to our website.
Innovating through startups
What other projects have you got coming up?
To build up our digital ecosystem and enhance the customer experience, we recently announced a challenge for startups we’re launching in partnership with Microsoft. It covers three key areas for revolutionising retail: data catching, phygital services and drive-to-store.
As mobile is a major way of interacting with our clients, we decided to call this challenge Let’s Play with Mobile Shoppers. We shortlisted a dozen finalists who pitched their idea at the Viva Technology expo which took place in Paris from 30th June to 2nd July 2016. The three winning startups will then go on a six-month incubation with Microsoft and get to try out their solutions at our shopping centres.
=> Check out the list of winners:
>> Alcmeon, headed by Bertrand Stephann (former CEO of AlloCiné and Aufeminin.com), has a search engine that runs on the social networks. The company has developed an algorithm that helps you improve customer care on the social networks and develop social selling. This startup could enable Klépierre to identify the shopping habits of consumers in a particular catchment area in order to drive more traffic into their store.
>> Mapwize is a technological solution for shopping centres which enables visitors to find their way around. Maps can be altered quickly and easily each time there are any changes at the centres (new store, new service, etc.).
>> Stimshop allows brands to send targeted messages to consumers by enabling the microphone on their smartphone using ultrasound. No hardware is needed to deploy the technology: the inaudible signal can be broadcasted through any existing audio system in the shopping centre: MP3 players, computers, screens, radio, smartphones, etc.
=> Find out how Econocom digitalised Klépierre Group’s headquarters (in French):