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Insight: experiential events drive student engagement

New figures have shown the benefits of investing in experiential marketing activity in retail shopping centres to drive student engagement and boost footfall.

SHOPPING CENTRES & RETAIL PARKS

Insight: experiential events drive student engagement

New figures have shown the benefits of investing in experiential marketing activity in retail shopping centres to drive student engagement and boost footfall.

Unidays, the student affinity network, saw a 65% increase in on-the-night registrations at its dedicated shopping centre evening events throughout 2016 compared to the previous year.

Hosting a total of 15 student shopping events in 11 cities in 2016, UNiDAYS coordinated them mostly throughout the busy freshers period from September to October.

Total pre-registration across the events was over 100,000 as students signed up to visit the centres to secure exclusive discounts.

On arrival at the centres, students were directed to the best in-store deals via beacons. The events then offered students a glimpse into the future of retail with digital billboards displaying their brand preferences drawn from their social media profiles.

Visitors were also sent relevant discounts via push notifications on their smart phones.

By driving pre-registrations, UNiDAYS members accounted for a third of all footfall in the shopping centres during the events. Intu centres saw a footfall increase of over 50% during the evenings.

Carl Aelle, head of retail innovation at UNiDAYS, said: “Retail events remain a huge untapped opportunity for retailers to get the chance to interact directly with an engaged student audience. We saw an increase in pre-registration and footfall, which shows the continued relevance of a truly omnichannel approach that builds the strongest affinities.”

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