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Yuma Palms shopping center mobile app drives engagement for on-site retailers

February 19, 2013

Shopping center Yuma Palms has launched an official branded application with rich, interactive content and promotional offers to engage local shoppers and make it easy for them to engage directly with retailers on a recurring basis.

The app connects users to all of the offers and events taking place at the Yuma, AZ-based shopping center. It also features an interactive map that plots out active sales, mall events and all store locations.

“This app, while appearing to be a mobile Web site, is actually designed specifically to drive bricks-and-mortar sales at Yuma Palms Regional Center,” said Maureen Denard, vice president and director of marketing for Inland Continental Property Management Corp., Oak Brook, IL.

“Mobile commerce is surely on the rise,” she said. “The ability to quickly gain information on a product or service through a smartphone is easier than ever.

“We know the number of people who use their smartphone while shopping is very high – whether to snap a photo of something and send to a friend, or research a price at another center. We wanted to pull the consumer, using their smartphone, into the stores and immediately have the coupon and retailer close the sale.”

The Yuma Palms shopping center is owned and managed by Inland Continental Property Management Corp.

Mobile offers
The one-million-square-foot Yuma Palms Regional Center shopping center features retailers such as Old Navy, Target, JC Penney, Best Buy and Foot Locker.

Shoppers at the mall can use the app to access deals from the retailers on-site at Yuma Palms, an interactive map and an interactive business directory complete with hours of operation and phone numbers of all on-site merchants.

The app also includes an interactive news feed for up-to-the minute site-specific information and the ability to share Yuma Palms deals across social media feeds to friends and followers.

Once the app is downloaded and opened, the user will be shown a carousel of live coupon offers intermingled with notices of events happening at the center. 

When users see a retail offer that they want to redeem, they are able to tap the offer, tap a bar at the bottom of that offer for more details, tap the map icon above the offer to show the shopper where on the property that particular store is and then navigate to the store to redeem.

Users then show the shopkeeper the coupon. Some have bar codes on the coupon that the retailer can scan to track and measure the effectiveness of the coupon while other stores can dedicate a key on the POS system to an app redemption.

Driving awareness
To promote the app, Yuma Palms has placed QR codes in retailers’ windows and on receipts for purchases. The app is also being promoted on Yuma Palms’ Facebook page, via radio, email and small business cards placed into consumers’ bags.

“We have rolled this out to consumers using a strategic mix of media and leveraged cross-channel marketing, from print, Web, social media and outdoor advertising, all working together to make shoppers aware the app is available and drive them right to their preferred app store to download it,” Ms. Denard said.

The Yuma Palms mobile app, which is available for the iPhone, iPad and Android, was developed in partnership with Venuing Inc.  

The launch follows a pilot program at another Inland shopping center, University Town Center in Norman, OK, which was introduced during the summer of 2012 that also features interactive content and promotional offers (see story).

“We now have three live apps up and running and intend to continue developing them at those properties where our research and experience in marketing the center indicates promise in the ability increase sales inside our stores,” Ms. Denard said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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