June 26th, 2019 - ATMs and Unattended
By Clare Millwood, Head of Marketing and Global Communications, ADVAM
The Shopping Center Networking event hosted by Parking Network is always an insightful event, bringing together the leaders in shopping center parking operations from across Europe and sharing insights, new innovations and the latest hot topics from across the globe.
This year’s event was no different. ADVAM hosted several workshops on the benefits of improving the customer journey and how parking can contribute to this change. As ever, this led to lively conversation and we would like to share the ‘hot topics’ that came from the event and these discussions.
Are Parking Reservation Platforms Relevant to Shopping Centers?
Absolutely (but we would say that)! Reservation or Pre-book platforms have typically been used by airports or local governments to manage the occupancy of high demand car parks. This trend is shifting as parking operators in general (including shopping centers) understand the importance of using these platforms to build customer knowledge and engage with customers.
Entertainment venues such as museums and stadiums use these tools to manage peak times and to ensure that valuable customers can park when needed. Shopping centers are looking at the same model.
Imagine if you could offer a way for premium or loyalty membership customers to reserve and pay for their parking in advance when doing their Christmas Shopping or for hitting the sales? The luxury of having a space guaranteed at these peak times, could potentially be charged at a premium, be given as an incentive for people to stay at the center longer, or to reward your most valuable customers. (See NCP’s Christmas Guide and Westfield Miranda for how operators are enabling this service.)
Taking Reservation to the Next Level and Creating a Seamless Experience
Some shopping centers are taking this even further and harnessing the power of digital wallets and mobile technology (such as Apple Wallet and Google Pay passes) to provide a seamless consumer experience and an integrated platform to engage customers.
With the integration of a Reservation platform and digital wallet, consumers can reserve parking via their mobile, add the pass to their wallet and use their phone to access the shopping center car park.
Once in the shopping center, a loyalty campaign linked to the wallet can give the consumer incentives to spend more time and money at the center via personalized push notifications, driven by the center and the data intelligence they have on the individual shopper. The center receives intelligent data on the shopper and can personalize their engagement with the consumer, increasing consumer spend and loyalty.
How do Shopping Centers Manage Staff Parking?
As consumers and staff collide, how do you make sure that your valuable customers are able to park closest to the center and still allow your retail outlet staff members easily access? You may also want to make sure that staff don’t abuse their parking privileges, by offering their access to friends when they’re not at work.
Solutions such as StaffPark provide shopping centers an automated solution to manage staff parking. Staff personnel simply register online, are approved by the center or licensee and then by using your preferred access method, can access the staff parking.
If staff are to be charged for parking, this can be paid via auto top-up or even salary sacrifice. Alternatively, a regular invoice can be sent to the licensee charging them directly for the cost of their staff parking.
What Can We Offer Our Premium Customers?
Aside from the option to pre-book mentioned above. Many of the leading shopping centers across the globe already offer a parking account-based program. This enables consumers to register for parking, add their payment card and removes the hassle of finding a payment machine on exit. Depending on the access method selected, the system can recognize them on arrival and simply charge their account when they leave.
Shopping centers often use these solutions to not only offer convenience to customers but can link to loyalty programs or provide special offers conveniently inside the center. You can see this service in practice at selected Westfield centers across Australia.
An example of this is Valet, an upgraded service offering targeting high-value, premium customers. Linked to the pre-book solution, Valet allows customers to book their parking online and conveniently park in a premium spot. Properties can then offer value-add services like a car wash or bag collection, which, in turn, encourages customers to spend more time (and money) at the center.
The collective insights we’ve covered in this piece provide plenty of food for thought as we look to the future. Check the TNS blog regularly for further items of interest.