Developing authentic customer connections

10 min
05 December 2022
The retail landscape continues to evolve, fuelled by changing consumer behaviours, with shoppers returning to our retail town centres in search of a more immersive, bespoke retail experiences and businesses seeking new and expanded ways in which you can connect their brands with customers.


We understand the importance of keeping pace with retail’s rapid evolution and strive to be ahead of it with strategies, products and programs that deliver joint sustainable growth for our business and that of our retail partners.


Leveraging the physical retail experience

As omnichannel strategies continue to drive business growth, we have seen a rise in emerging and expanding online businesses seeking to add a bricks-and-mortar presence to their offering to grow their business. There is a focus on bringing brands to life in a physical retail environment to build more enriched customer relationships and touchpoints with their brand. We have seen this not only with online retailers but also established businesses looking to re-engage with their customers and create a lasting impression of their brand.

Having a physical retail presence provides an avenue to build connection and strong engagement with the community and customers. S Connect provides innovative solutions for businesses, whether it be enriching connection opportunities through interconnected advertising campaigns or assisting in business incubation working with online or new retail businesses who are dipping their toe into the shopping centre environment for the first time.

Popular cacti purveyor, The Cacti Folk, is the third business from the S Connect retail incubation program, Starter, and is already seeing the benefits in opening in one of Stockland's shopping centres. Trialling the local market with a curated retail space and suppported by a dedicated Incubation Manager and program, they have brought their products to life through engaging in-centre experiences such as succulent workshops that offer an interactive and social environment and service.


Make it experience-led and customer-centric

In 2023, the consumer appetite for meaningful, authentic experiences will continue as consumers rethink their priorities. So, retailers must find new ways to meaningfully connect with consumers, focusing on engaging authentically and evolving with consumers’ changing tastes, preferences, and needs. We have granular insights into our customers through sophisticated customer analytics and segmentation models which help understand how our customers behave and why. We use this deep understanding to strategically partner with brands and companies to develop campaigns that engage with customers at key stages of their physical in-centre journey.

We know the closer the advertising is to the point of purchase, the more likely the customer is to act on the urge to buy. We also understand how important creating new and exciting experiences in our centres is for our customers. We recently worked with cocktail brand Aperol Spritz on a summer campaign with a series of colourful community art murals appearing across five of our centres, evoking brand associations close to point of purchase and creating new engaging, visual points of interest for our customers.

The popular Hunter Valley brand, Hungerford Hill wines, collaborated with nearby Stockland Green Hills regional town centre on a major experiential event that was fashion-centric tailored to their high value customer segments in a VIP customer experience called ‘Celebrate Colour’ with wine tasting that built positive brand associations for the wine during a truly entertaining and exciting event.

The halo effect that real life contact has on a product is all encompassing, and when it’s a curated approach, we tend to see the best results.

Find out more about how S Connect can help you make bold moves to stay ahead of the trends.  


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