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Market Research for Shopping Malls

RESEARCH FOR SHOPPING CENTERS

Types of research for Shopping Centers

Clau Consultors has adopted and perfected the following types of market research for the shopping centers sector.

The study of clientele is fundamentally based on a survey taken inside the shopping center with the purpose of obtaining information on the visitors'profile, their visiting habits, the assessment of different aspects of the shopping center, the impact and assessment of marketing campaigns and events, etc.

Carrying out the survey at the end of the visit to the shopping center permits us to obtain reliable information (not slanted) on the universe of actual customers (universe of visits).

In order to reach maximum representativity, the sample is stratified according to access, time interval and week day. The fieldwork includes a Control of Negative that allows adjusting the information of the surveys taking into account the people that have refused to participate in the study.

The study of brakes consists of a telephonic survey to the residents of the area of influence of the shopping center with the purpose of knowing the potential customer profile, purchasing habits, the position of the shopping center compared to the competition, the image of the shopping center and that of its competitors, its strengths and weaknesses, the main brakes to the visit, the impact of marketing campaigns, etc.

Surveys are carried out through the CATI system (computer-aided telephonic survey). The sample is stratified according to quotas of sex, age and area of residence.

In the case of shopping centers located in areas with significant presence of a floating population (branches, industrial parks, tourist areas, etc.) could be needed complete the study with a street survey to nonresident population.

The primary goal of the qualitative study of the clientele is the in-depth comprehension of attitudes, perceptions, motivations and brakes linked to different shopping centers. With this methodology it is possible approach to complex objectives and with a creative/prospective character, as well as to tackle motivational aspects, not only rational but also emotional aspects.

This qualitative research permits the use of projective techniques, through which it is possible to access certains subconscious aspects that are not usually openly manifested which is why it proves to be a very useful supplement to the quantitative information supplied by the surveys.

Although the most commonly used methodological tool is the focus group, other methodologies can be used as mini-groups, in-depth interviews, ethnographical techniques, etc.

The objective of mystery shopper research is the evaluation of quality of customer service provided by shops, restaurants, etc. The mystery shopping technique consists of a ruled simulation of a visit carried out by specialized observers. We have developed our own model of mystery shopper research which is oriented to the assessment of the service offered in establishments located in shopping centers.

The mystery shopper audits the entire process that takes place during the visit in the establishment, observes and assesses both the physical and service aspects and fills an exhaustive report immediately after the visit.

The model allows quantifying the degree of quality of the service and detecting areas to be improved or optimized, both for each of the audited shops/establishments and for the common services of the center.

The survey to retailers consists of semi-structured interview to people in charge or responsible of different establishments of the shopping center. The purpose is to find out the opinion of the retailers as far as the functioning of the shopping center and that of their own business, their assessment of the management of common and marketing services, etc.

The proposed technique provides in-depth knowledge of the various opinions, assessments and perceptions as well as acquiring data which is quantifiable and representative of the set of retailers of the C.C.

The basic objective of this type of study is to know with maximum accuracy the origin of the shopping center's clientele so as to establish on a map the area of influence (primary, secundary, tertiary…) and to obtain the visitor's basic profile. The questionnaire is therefore very brief and the most important factor is to have a large sample of customers, which will provide the possibility of estimating percentage of penetration of the shopping center in different municipalities and census districts of the influence area of the shopping center.

The aim of this research is to obtain a precise picture of the image and the position of the shopping center compared to the competition, as well as analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of each one of the centers.

With the image and positioning research we can detect, characterize and measure the most important market segments from the point of view of its needs as well as the aspects or attributes that value the most in the shopping centers.

The information obtained is processed with multivariate statistical tools by which a positioning map can be drawn showing the shopping centers and their attributes.

The research is structured in two phases, the first is qualitative (focus group) the purpose of which is to define the attributes of the image that characterize and differentiate the different shopping centers and a second phase that consists in a survey to the residents of the influence area of the shopping center.

The primary goal of this type of market research is to gather information to establish the commercial feasibility of a new project for a shopping center or superstore its expansion or reform.

In order do so, it proposes an in-depth documentary study based on secondary sources and, optionally, a survey to potencial customers in the area of influence of the new project or center with the purpose of disconvering their purchasing and visiting habits to shopping centers as well as the awareness and positioning of its various competitors etc.

Definition and characterization of the area of influence
Audit or count of visitors
Research on consumption and purchasing habits
Comunicational tests, pre and post advertising tests
Check of sales promotions and POP advertising
Store-check
Continous research on purchasing habits in superstores and shopping centers
Customers panel
Consultancy for shopping center managements for the production of internal research studies

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