How advertising in a Stockland retail centre can boost sales

10 min
27 September 2023
As customer buying patterns shift, Stockland National Manager of S Connect, Lisa King, shared the following insights, namely: why brands and businesses should, now more than ever, be leveraging the irreplicable power of Stockland retail town centres; how Stockland retail town centres provide a physically captive shopper market already in an active purchasing mindset, and; why brands should be tapping into lucrative regional Australian demographics.

About Lisa King

With an extensive history in media sales and advertising, having worked for media and property heavyweights, Ms King has spent nearly three years leading Stockland’s advertising, pop-up and partnerships offering, S Connect. She is incredibly passionate about the power of Stockland retail town centres in closing the campaign loop between shoppers and brands.

Crunching the numbers

The benefits of in-centre advertising are hard to ignore. Validated by compelling customer feedback, Stockland has shown that customised campaigns in its centres have the power to increase revenue for advertisers.

“There are insights around tenants that advertise versus those that don’t,” Ms King explains. “While you’ve still got to pull people into your store given the array of different retail options to choose from on any given trip, many brands understand the power of shopping centre advertising and the difference it will make.

“For existing retailers, sales data can be compared by those businesses between the stores which run campaigns with us and the same brand’s stores elsewhere that don’t. If a brand is using our in-centre advertising, pop-up and partnership offerings, it has the potential to bring a sales uplift anywhere up to 20 percent. It absolutely can drive greater sales results, when complemented by the right campaign messaging and delivery.”

Many businesses run centre domination campaigns with Stockland because they have already experienced the measured results previously. A clear example is JD Sports which, when opening a new store, will book key advertising formats with the knowledge the campaign will dramatically increase sales compared with not engaging a Stockland campaign. A representative from JD Sports also notes the resulting uplift in brand awareness among centre shoppers.

Why shopping centres?

It is well-established that brands turn to traditional forms of advertising in order to reach as many potential customers as possible, but Ms King said that in-centre advertising offers advantages that above-the-line advertising cannot. 

“In the media industry we are technically categorised as out-of-home, but we refer to ‘retail media’ because we are located right where consumers have transitioned to shoppers and are in a purchasing mindset” said Ms King.

A lot of brands are still buying TV, radio and print media – typical above-the-line advertising, which all play an important role. However, media buyers and brand teams are increasingly seeing the value of advertising in retail centres because it's the only time that consumers are actively buying.

“When people are in shopping centres, they are in a spending mindset. They already have their wallet in-hand, and they can purchase immediately” explains Ms King. In-centre shoppers are in the frame-of-mind to buy, meaning that Stockland’s primary advertising media currency is captivated active shoppers. Not people sitting passively at home watching television advertisements. It closes the loop on that total campaign journey and investment.

If you value Ebbinhaus’s 'Memory Decay Curve', recall diminishes within a week. A retail campaign will reignite the above-the-line campaign message and close that campaign loop when they have converted to being a shopper. “This helps to leverage the total campaign investment” adds Ms King.

Why Stockland?

With a diversity of retail centres weaved throughout Australian communities to advertise in, Ms King said Stockland’s unique proposition is its ability to customise its offering to suit a brand’s needs and optimise sales results for any budget. S Connect has the power to connect an engaged and loyal shopper community with the brands and businesses they love – both big and small, national and local. From large advertising dominations to sampling, partnerships and pop-up spaces, S Connect can curate a campaign or experience suited to a brand’s individual needs.

“Stockland’s biggest point-of-difference is that we can completely package and curate a total campaign for a client. We can of course do off-the-shelf; a customer could just buy a digital screen, but the fully integrated campaign is where S Connect truly brings a brand to life.

“We can curate a unique multi-touchpoint campaign, which features the brand’s products on the Stockland network of retail websites, large-format screens to showcase exclusive content, in-centre sampling, product demonstrations and roaming brand ambassadors, all supplemented by a social media campaign.

Stockland brings a truly meaningful experience into its retail town centres because its audience are shoppers. “It’s about bringing the brand and the shop together in a meaningful way” said Ms King. “It’s an interactive experience.”

Hitting the target

Ms King said another major advantage of advertising in Stockland centres is that the business understands which brands best-suit certain demographics and locations. With market-leading capability, we harness advanced data-collection and modelling to generate deep insights. This is strengthened by the breadth of opportunity brought about such a diverse portfolio of centres and shoppers. Stockland boasts a national portfolio of 25 centres, which see more than 111 million visitations per annum .

“Often, brands will over-invest in advertising within east coast metropolitan centres. But they are missing out on heartland Australia, which encompasses mass grocery buyers.” Stockland centres are spread across Australia and into regional markets. With 9.4 million  consumers living in regional Australia, a population that continues to grow, they are too valuable to ignore.

“Using the example of a breakfast cereal, that brand could advertise at a given centre in an urban location, but the number of people who shop there who eat cereal for breakfast might be far less than the shoppers at our regional centres,” continued Ms King.

Two shining examples are Stockland Green Hills, located in East Maitland, and Stockland Shellharbour, located near Wollongong. Both are large, modern centres that are essentially home to their respective regional trade areas. They provide a real strength for advertisers in connecting with what Lisa calls 'mass Australia'.

“Stockland is where mass Australia shops. Brands that are more-suited to this audience will get much more bang-for-their-buck at a suburban Stockland centre than a metropolitan mall located in more affluent areas where shoppers will be likely eating smashed avocado and feta for breakfast, not mainstream cereal.”

In regional areas, housing is more affordable and often disposable income is higher . Our centres demonstrate the power of advertising in suburban and regional Australia.

Data-driven results

Stockland has a deep understanding of our customer segments through data collection. Technology has allowed us to better-forecast demand for our retailers, personalise experiences, and stay one step ahead of consumer behaviour. 

“The pandemic has underlined the importance of collecting the right consumer analytics and responding accordingly,” said Ms King. “It's about understanding our customers and their behaviours within the centre.”

Stockland prides itself on gathering customer behavioural data in order to maximise shopper satisfaction and sales. At a high-level, Stockland has been able to determine who its highest-spending, highest-value customers are, how their needs have changed throughout COVID-19 and formulate plans so it can deliver responses to those behavioural changes. 

“Our data sets help us very specifically target our retail customers both in-centre and also externally,” Ms King said.

Tailored solutions, big or small

Stockland is able to package bespoke campaigns to suit any brand’s specific needs, no matter the budget, said Ms King. “Even for brands that don't have a lot of budget, they can still leverage our retail centre advertising if they are very targeted, with almost guerrilla-like marketing tactics, and they can then match the big players with a last-message opportunity in the shopper's journey at the point-of-purchase,” she said. Equally favourable results are driven for our clients who are local businesses and SMEs. They are in close proximity to our centres and the campaign ignites interest and recognition of that business.”

It is comparable to the analogy of passing through a supermarket check-out and deciding to buy a chocolate bar while you wait to pay for your groceries. It’s targeted advertising at a fixed stage of a shopping experience. Stockland can provide packages that harness a captive market, that other external advertisers cannot.

Ultimately, shopping centre advertising, an area in which S Connect leads the way, has the power to create thriving brand connections - by bringing together engaged shopper communities with the brands and businesses they love.

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