In this new interview we speak with Paulo Ferreira Gomes, Property Manager at Centro Colombo (Sonae Sierra). Paulo highlights the opportunity that digital revolution means for the sector and the importance of taking advantage of it.
This professional tells us about his vision for the future of the sector. Do you want to learn more about Paulo’s opinions about mall´s sector? Continue reading.
Shopping Center Interview – The opportunity of digital revolution
First of all, analyze the current situation… How are you living it?
Despite all the situations that society has faced in recent years, we currently find ourselves in a more stabilized environment, which we have achieved with a lot of work.
That is why now, in the shopping center sector, we are working with a regular management.
What is the biggest problem or weakness that a shopping center has to face?
One of the biggest challenges our sector has to face is the digital revolution, but I don’t see it as a threat, but as an opportunity. So we have to take advantage of it and use all these innovations in our strategies and actions.
What role does technology play?
Technology has become an essential part of all sectors, becoming a key factor for the success of the actions carried out in each of the Sonae Sierra shopping centers.
Technological innovations help us eliminate tasks with low added value; allowing our professionals to focus their time on the core of the business with improved solutions.
How does digital revolution help a Shopping Center in the current situation?
As said before, technology provides us with more information, which is characterized by being accurate and valuable; it is available at the moment, with the opportunity to make improvements in real time, and all this thanks to the development of improved tools that support the decision-making process.
How do you achieve customer loyalty now?
We are in a time when achieving customers loyalty has become more difficult than ever, and this is because customers now have a lot of information available.
The point here is to be able to catch up and be aligned with the preferences and behaviors of the customer during the purchase process. Many retailers and center managers have wasted too much time scared by the myth that digital was a threat, and now everyone understands that we are in a changing environment and we have to upgrade to maintain our place in the market.
What do you think this customer is looking for? How can we offer them an optimal experience?
Actually, more than ever, segmentation is not the ultimate analysis, it is the first step to target the individual customer; the more customized we are, working and shaping solutions on an individual level, the more effective we become.
Some trends are clear – more experience, less products; lean and agile; if it is not easy and fast, it is useless; the environment conscious brought a new dimension to the business model as well.
Are you optimistic about the future of this sector?
Pretty much; shopping centers are a physical hub with a huge competitive advantage, as long as we realize that constant change at every level is mandatory.
What do you think the mall of the future will be like?
The future of our shopping malls will be defined by us, as day-to-day customers; we have to satisfy every need to keep the client; we, as clients, are cruel, and change brand and mall very easily.
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You can measure and analyze what happens in your shopping mall and understand how your customers behave. Flame develops solutions for Shopping Centers, that will help managers in their tasks of optimizing strategies according to precise data. You will also be able to predict trends and patters.