The need for offline is growing. Anna Chubotina on the results of a study in Prospekt shopping mall

How have your offline shopping habits and motivations changed? What is the role of shopping malls in the life of modern citizens? These questions were asked by Arricano and a study was conducted among visitors to Prospekt shopping mall. Despite the growing importance of the digital world, people want the usual shopping experience in shopping malls. Anna Chubotina, CEO of Arricano, shares valuable insights in the column for Retailers

Earlier this year, current research on changing online shopping habits was published. At the same time, the motives of offline shopping are also changing. This was confirmed by the results of a study conducted by Arricano in Prospekt shopping mall (Kyiv, February 2021). The main goal of this project is to go "in the field", communicate live with visitors to the shopping mall and discover new customer insights. After all, the attendance of the shopping mall is directly related to changes in the lifestyle of Kyiv residents and guests of the capital. Many people have switched to a remote or mixed work format. Universities, schools, and creative clubs have also partially switched to online. Concerts, exhibitions, and online performances have become commonplace. There are new social networks that offer a convenient format for virtual communication. Fair enough, the question arises: What is the place left for offline in an increasingly virtual world? It turns out that the need for offline is increasing. The role of online in people's lives is growing, but the need for socialization and implementation of "pre-quarantine" habits is growing proportionally.

At home or in the office 

42% of respondents who are visitors to Prospekt shopping mall had to switch to a remote work schedule.  Another 14% have a mixed employment format - "partly in the office, partly at home". More women stay at home than men (only 3%). Accordingly, 44% of respondents continue to commute to work every day.  

Taking these data into account, we can assume that for half of the respondents who continue to work in the office, the lifestyle has not changed. For those who work remotely, a lot has changed. And it is precisely this audience that needs socialization outside of their own home - to go out for coffee, go shopping, or have lunch at a restaurant or food court. This is confirmed by the growth of shopping mall's traffic on weekdays compared to previous periods. For example, on Mondays in Prospekt shopping mall in the second half of 2020, we saw traffic growth of up to 10% compared to the same periods in 2019.

The more online you become in your life, the more popular offline is. These two channels reinforce each other and create new additional options. In the offline space of the shopping mall, guests spend time, socialize and get customer experience. In the shopping mall, you can develop relationships with your family, learning something new about them in the process. So, more than 60% of the surveyed female visitors to our shopping malls and more than 30% of male visitors claim that while shopping in the shopping mall, they learn more about their children and friends.

As always, these are the most necessary things and things you liked  

After studying the question of approaches to shopping, we found that quarantine did not affect the shopping habits of 33% of respondents.

23% buy only the most necessary things of clothing, shoes and accessories
44% will buy things that they liked. At the same time, 52% of women buy what they liked, and 32% - what fits them.
This means that the buyer has not changed in principle. People still behave irrationally and emotionally. For the retail business, this is the main task - to create the right emotion, desire, interest and, ultimately, to satisfy the need with a purchase.

In offline shopping, "like" is not only a specific model of clothing on hangers or shelves, a showcase or a picture, but when you tried it on, you saw yourself in the mirror and determined by touch that this is exactly what fits. The visual-sensory experience comes to the fore, but functionality remains an important factor when making a purchase.

What do you value most about the mall? 

Most of all, respondents in the shopping mall appreciate a pleasant atmosphere - 53% of men and 42% of women. As well as the choice of shops and the opportunity to spend high-quality leisure time. A comfortable place attracts, positive feelings are reproduced in the memory and you want to return again to get a new emotional charge.  

Customer service remains important. More than 50% of the female and male audience of respondents expect shop assistants to be polite and expert. 

Impact of the customer experience on the effectiveness of sales in the store  

Shopping in the shopping mall remains a multidimensional consumer experience. It is formed by many factors: from the comfort of your stay, the availability of necessary goods and services to the professionalism of shop assistants. There are still lots of unpacked topics in retail that encourage shopping in the mall. Live storytelling in service and the pleasant atmosphere of the shopping mall have become an anchor feature offline. This advantage should be taken into account and strengthened in all its manifestations: from marketing to merchandising. Our client seeks and needs care and attention in reality, strives to feel community and complicity with the community, and wants to get emotions.  Research helps us better understand the consumer and offer them the right solutions better and faster than others.