The retail revolution continues

The retail revolution continues

Written by Mark Dailey, Partner at Madano.

International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) is the global governing organisation dedicated to supporting the shopping centre industry – owners, operators and retailers. The latest conference was one of two Asia-Pacific conferences – held in Shanghai and Bangkok. The Americas conference takes place in Las Vegas; the Middle East in Dubai and the European event in Warsaw. Madano’s Mark Dailey facilitated 3 of 5.

They are interesting because they speak to future trends that effect many of our clients and companies in our space – from economic predictions, to drivers of customer engagement, real estate developments and sentiment etc. Following his travels, Mark provides a summary of key information that came out of the Bangkok conference.    


  • U.S. industry suffering from over-capacity and outmoded stock (1970’s suburban malls); whereas Asia-Pacific leads in experiential shopping and food and beverage
  • The perception that bricks and mortar retail is dead is wrong. Bricks and mortar shopping revenue is 10 times that of online: 2016 global figures: $43 trillion vs $472billion BUT growth rate is 1.7% vs 153.3% since 2013
  •  Healthcare is the fastest growing new segment in shopping centres. There is a direct correlation between time spent at a healthcare outlet and spend afterwards in the mall – top spend is in fashion items (reward for going to a healthcare outlet), pharmacy items and healthy food purchases        
  •  Many of the typical anchors of a 1990’s mall have ceased to exist: supermarkets, department stores. Anchors now tend to be: one hypermarket; one Apple store (or equivalent); one leisure outlet (cinemas etc.)
  • Most successful retailers now are comfortable with omni-channel, integrated approach: click and collect, integrated store to website, digital kiosks in-store etc.
  • Pure online businesses will come under pressure soon from investors needing to see a profit – shakeout like dotcom bust is coming
  • What customers value is surprising. The top 3 items are: ability to try product before buying (59%), direct contact with sales staff (43%) and product personalisation (40%). Least valuable are: news and data sharing with customer (22%), customer engagement communications (24%)     

Importance of quality and excellence

  • Power of being ‘intentional’ – what is your intent with customers and clients. This concept helps cut through the clutter to reveal what is really important
  • Exceptional service is architected from the beginning – it has two components: a) credo/commitment/mind-set and b) systems/processes/measurement/continuous improvement
  • Customer service levels have been in decline since 1970’s – it is the single best parameter on which to differentiate
  • Most shopping relationships now are transactional – huge room to improve experience 
  • Creating emotional connection with customers/clients is more valuable than a rational one

Madano’s Mark Dailey moderating at ICSC Europe, earlier in 2017.

Rise of experiential retailing and food and beverage

  • Experiential retailing really started to accelerate six or seven years ago when arcade quality games were able to be reproduced on the smartphone – meaning that the mall had to offer something that could not be had at home  
  • ‘Social’ rather than ‘shopping’ is the new buzzword
  • Understanding what customers really want is the key to getting experiential shopping right
  • Psychometrics and big data is critical – for instance analytics show that virtual reality (VR) is fantastic at enticing new customers into a mall but offers very poor dwell time and repeat business (been there, done that, got the VR t-shirt)
  • Malls are increasingly transitioning from retail to food/beverage and experience. In Australia 53% of all sales revenue is generated by food and beverage
  • Two big emerging issues as food and beverage outlets stay open later in malls and serve alcohol – a) what happens to the ambience/safety factor? b) What happens to the other stores? – pressure for them to stay open later
  • Airports are the new food and beverage and experiential malls – ‘shopping centres with landing rights’ and again the U.S lags behind. Old style food courts are being phased out everywhere in favour of casual dining

Effect of millennials and Gen Z

  • ½ of all millennials live in Asia-Pacific; however youngest regions are: Middle East (34.9% millennials) and Latin America (34.7%)
  • Millennials care about: personalisation of product, authenticity of customer engagement and brands that overtly do good. By comparison Gen Z are sceptical of brands and are driven more by communities and brands that support communities not the brands themselves
  • Gen Z first generation to be digital natives (Millennials were digital pioneers) 
  • Gen Z preferences:  58% would pay $5 for 1 hour delivery; 73% would pay for curated or personalised offers/subscription services; 60% prefer to buy in store than online    
  • Gen Z don’t have short attention spans but rather a ruthless 8 second filter. You have 8 seconds to persuade them they should listen       
  • 84% turn to YouTube before making a purchase
  • 40% regularly provide online feedback to retailers
  • Specialised influencers are their most important frame of reference
  • Not brand but community loyal 
Gen ZMillennials
First phone at 12 years old First phone at 16-20
Digital nativesDigital pioneers
On-demand educationFormal education

ICSC has been a Madano client since April 2017.

Setting your communications KPIs for 2018? Five principles to make sure you can see the wood for the trees

Setting your communications KPIs for 2018? Five principles to make sure you can see the wood for the trees

Written by Gareth Morrell, Head of Insights & Intelligence

It has always been important for communications teams to show the impact of their activities, but as external economic factors bite into budgets, being able to measure and assess how communications is contributing to business outcomes is now absolutely critical.

At the same time, the digital revolution has come as mixed blessing. Digital communication automatically generates data to help measure outcomes – if it’s analysed and interpreted correctly. Take ‘engagement’ for example: retweets, likes, mentions, follows all help understand who is engaging online with what’s being communicated. In certain circumstances, journeys can be tracked from engagement (e.g. opening an email, clicking a link) to a more substantial outcome (signing-up to a campaign or making a purchase). But, at the same time, multi-channel digital campaigns make the question of attribution more difficult – i.e. what was it that actually made the difference.

Despite these challenges, there are some simple principles to follow when thinking about measurement that apply to whatever kind of communications you’re involved in.

  • Define your intended outcomes first – make sure all internal stakeholders understand the overarching aim of any communications from the outset, as well as the rationale for the strategy you’re building to achieve those outcomes. It sounds obvious, but you can quickly lose sight of intended outcomes as the creative development and heads-down delivery of a programme gets underway.
  • Link these outcomes to business strategy – no one wants to waste money on collecting unnecessary metrics and figures that don’t show how communications contribute to the ways in which the business is ultimately getting judged – such as on reputation, winning contracts or growth.
  • Measure outcomes not just outputs – in other words, measure what your communications have changed, not just what you did: it’s important to show that you’ve been effective, as well as busy. A focus on delivery can mean we start to see volume as the single measure of success. How many events, tweets or emails were delivered is irrelevant if we don’t know whether those involved think or behave differently because of it.
  • Qualitative insight, as well as quantitative – in addition to measuring what works, we also need to understand why – qualitative approaches and data provide us with that richness. For example, if Social Media Campaign A works better than Social Media Campaign B, we need to know why in order to build that in to the design of future campaigns: was it the content, visual format, frequency or simply the time they took place?
  • Think about measurement throughout – measurement isn’t something that only happens at the end, and if it does then it probably won’t work. You might be missing a trick in making your campaign more effective as you go along. Measurement should be considered and the above principles applied at the very earliest stages of devising any communications programme. Equally, at the end of the programme, the insights we generate from measuring impact should inform the design of future programmes to ensure continuous improvement.

Now this check list is a starting point. Methodologies and data collection approaches will need to be designed to implement them, but without keeping these principles in mind no amount of clever analytics will provide you with a true assessment of your impact.

At Madano, and in conjunction with our sister agency AXON, November is Impact Month. Across the next few weeks, we’ll be working with all our account teams to continue to embed these principles in all the work we do. And we’ll also be challenging our clients to think about measurement in this way so that they can demonstrate the impact of their own work on their organisation. 

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