While it has been over 3 months that malls were allowed to reopen, the footfalls are far from the pre-Covid era. However, with the festive season making inroads, malls are innovating to enhance customer engagement and have pinned their hopes of redemption in the last quarter of this forgetful year.
To understand the dynamics of the festive preparedness, Unkrate India caught up with Naviin Ibhrampurkar, Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Inorbit Malls.
Just like every mall in the country, Inorbit Mall is festive ready with world-class lighting and décor elements a month in advance before Diwali.
“We try and plan our festive calendar in advance,” says Naviin. “However, due to covid-19 and other social distancing norms, we don’t have events and promotions,” he added.
Customer engagement is the key
Inorbit Mall will continue to engage with their audience on our social media platforms with shop and win, contests and virtual parties.
“Every year we offer different concepts in décor, activities and consumer engagement,” says Naviin.
Like other malls in the city, Inorbit is also playing big on offers and have a positive expectation from the customers.
“All our brands are ready to offer the latest collections in apparel. We also have exciting offers lined up for the festive season,” says Naviin.
Décor is a part of experiential marketing which is a strong factor that entices consumers and gives them a superior shopping experience.
He further says, “We are exploring décor with tech integration such as use of projection mapping, motion activation, light programming, sensor-activation and making the decor truly experiential.”
Inorbit has partnered with influencers like Nagma and internet-sensation Sima Taparia for a virtual party. They have also invited multiple influencers to come and showcase the festive collection to our customers.
“The virtual party was immensely successful as they increased our follower count by over 5,000. Overall, it was a huge success and helped us grow at an exponential rate on digital platforms,” says Naviin.
Will the customers and demand return?
Talking about the categories which are expected to see a major boost, he says, “The festive season should push the demand for ethnic and fusion wear, electronics, skincare and cosmetics. Fashion categories like fitness wear and athleisure are also catching pace.“
Now, with the food courts and restaurants opening, as well as the entertainment centers and multiplexes, getting a go-ahead soon, Inorbit is expecting the business to pick up.
However, the concern remains the same – the responses from the customers.
Inorbit is adhering to larger SOP’s that have been laid down for all the malls in India.
“Keeping in mind the social distancing norms the food court seating capacity is reduced to 50%,” says Naviin.
The mall has laid out rules like only two people per table is allowed. It also has waiting stickers on the ground which ensures that customers maintain a safe distance from one another.
“Restaurants at Inorbit are taking prior reservations so that they follow the 50% capacity rule,” he added.
Time for Revival
The pandemic has led to closer collaboration, broader technology adoption and a systemic rethinking of business processes.
“A lot of our retail partners have growing online businesses and service online demand using stores in our malls,” says Naviin.
Delivering from their own stores helps retailers maintain quality and authenticity.
Tier 2 & 3 city malls have bounced back faster, that’s also because the number of cases in those cities is far lesser than metros. However, there is a uniform trend across all malls in all cities. All of them are growing at same pace.
With the upcoming festive season followed by the end of season sale, the sentiments look positive.
“Footfalls and consumption are growing slowly and steadily, we can expect the revival in the coming months,” concluded Naviin.