Shopper Marketing Retail Return to Shopping Malls

Omnichannel Shopper Marketing News: Retail Apocalypse? No way, SA!

Shopper Marketing in-store is key to effective integrated, omnichannel brand strategies. Buying online may be convenient, and it has seen significant growth with the Pandemic as the great accelerant, but most local shoppers still prefer hitting the malls with over 95% of retail sales in South Africa in 2022 taking place in physical channels. While consumers are undoubtedly embracing ecommerce, physical channels remain critical at the end of your sales and marketing funnel. Partnering with a promotions agency that takes a strategic, data-led approach to shopper marketing can make all the difference when it comes to building lasting consumer connections and maximising market share.  

Shopping Malls Remain Central to South African Culture - and Shopper Marketing Tactics.

For South Africans, going to the shopping centre is about more than simply filling our trolleys. Security concerns and a lack of safe public spaces means our malls have come to represent a destination in and of themselves. They are about social connection, distraction and entertainment. This is evident in the post-pandemic return to shopping centres, in defiance of all predictions about how one of the globe’s harshest lockdowns would drive ecommerce adoption to the point of no-return.


Indeed, according to research by Eighty20, by January 2022, footfall traffic had exceeded pre-pandemic levels in South Africa’s major malls. 


And commercial property developers are following the money. According to Reuters, over 300,000m2 of new leasable retail space we set for completion in 2022. New spaces included Oceans Mall in the coastal city of Durban, kwaBhaca Mall in the Eastern Cape and Mamelodi Square in Pretoria.

Shopping Malls: A Captive Audience for Effective Shopper Marketing.

In today’s “Experience Economy”, where shopping is concerned, the brand experience remains a significant factor in the customer journey. One that cannot be easily replicated online. Interacting with store assistants, being able to touch, experience and physically compare products before making the purchasing decision, are key differentiators, as well as opportunities to demonstrate value – and values – with a captive audience of target consumers. 


These experiences are also critical components in terms of meeting changing buyer behaviour. Consumers are adopting an omnichannel approach to purchasing. Researching pricing and reading reviews online before buying instore, or conversely, trialing instore, and purchasing online. That said, in-store shopper marketing remains the marketing channel closest to the money with the greatest potential to shorten the sales funnel. With the right strategy and mechanics, you can move a consumer from awareness to consideration to trial and adoption (sale!) in a single sitting.


In short, brands looking to expand or retain market share must ensure presence across digital and physical channels if they are to remain relevant.


“Getting this right as a below-the-line marketing agency, means ensuring that the brands we work with are exactly where their customers are, which in recent months our trade marketing data has been trending back up towards the shopping centres,” says Lauren Durant, CEO, Tradeway Promotions. “This can be seen in the footfall numbers in the various shopping centres owned by Liberty Two Degrees (L2D), such as Sandton City, Melrose Arch and Nelson Mandela Square”.


At Tradeway, we are passionate about data-led trade marketing. Our proprietary trade marketing management software means we are able to track activity and engagement in trade, in real time for a deeper, more accurate view of consumer behaviour. These insights are leveraged not only to optimise promotional marketing activations, but to inform integrated omnichannel brand strategies, more broadly. Learn more about PromoForce and the power of data-led campaign optimisation here.


Contact us now to find out how you can gather consumer insights in trade, and maximise reach where consumers act and transact through data-led promotional marketing services.