Shopping malls have one primary objective – to satisfy the needs of their clients. That is why most shopping malls have an expanded infrastructure targeting the versatile needs of the consumers. This paper focuses on how Westfield Doncaster Shopping Center could improve their customers’ shopping experiences compared to its competition – Chadstone Shopping Center. The paper covers two marketing objectives and two research objectives and provides a brief description of the future research plan and design.
Westfield Doncaster Shopping Center has a wide assortment of goods to offer; moreover, it provides the consumers with a range of diverse services such as play areas for children, free Wi-Fi, parking, styling services, and phone charging. However, its competitor Chadstone Shopping Center has an image of a store with exclusive fashion items and attracts tourists.
The first marketing objective is to expand the range of services at Westfield Doncaster Shopping Center and begin attracting tourists. Potential strategies to accomplish this goal include creating special offers for tourists, adding unique experiences, interesting sites to visit, and souvenir departments.
The second marketing objective is changing the image of the Shopping Center to reflect a more exclusive and memorable profile. For example, Chadstone Shopping Center emphasizes its fashion department. Westfield Doncaster could focus on customer satisfaction and offer loyalty programs, rewards, gifts – this strategy would help attract more buyers due to better experiences.
The rationale behind both marketing objectives is the expansion of the customer market segment of the Center by means of the improvement of shopping experience offered. According to the study by Liu (2007), loyalty programs improve the relationship between the sellers and the buyers; also, Uncles, Dowling, and Hammond (2003) specify that loyalty programs need to come in combination with the brands and services offered and the overall image of the store. Overall, the researchers find that loyalty programs can produce a significant influence on consumer behavior (Meyer‐Waarden 2008).
The first research objective of this project is to achieve the rate of response high enough to make conclusions about the reliability and transferability of the results. Shopping malls usually have a large customer base, and that is why the size of the sample for both research questions needs to be sufficient. The questions will target the shoppers (just any adult buyer for the second objective and tourists for the first objective).
The collection of data will be structured in the form of a simple questionnaire (multiple-choice, possibly) to direct the responses and achieve better compliance because the respondents would not be willing to take part in lengthy interviews. Also, the interviews would hold confusing data requiring careful interpretation whereas questions will collect data in a more controlled and easy to process manner.
The second research objective will be to locate the respondents for the first issue – tourists and assess their needs as to the assortment of goods and services offered by Westfield Doncaster Shopping Center and also its significance as a place to visit. It is possible that one or two open-end questions could be added to the questionnaire to allow this group of respondents to express their desires as to the improvement of their shopping experience at Westfield Doncaster Shopping Center.
To sum up, the research will target adult buyers in general and tourists in particular as two different groups of respondents whose needs will be assessed separately for a purpose to achieve two marketing objectives – improve the image of the Center as a place focusing specifically on pleasing the consumers and attract tourists as a customer segment.
Liu, Y 2007, ‘The long-term impact of loyalty programs on consumer purchase behavior and loyalty,’ Journal of Marketing, vol. 71, no. 4, pp. 19-35.
Meyer‐Waarden, L 2008, ‘The influence of loyalty program membership on customer purchase behaviour,’ European Journal of Marketing, vol. 42, no. 1/2, pp. 87 – 114.
Uncles, MD, Dowling, GR, & Hammond, K 2003, ‘Customer loyalty and customer loyalty programs,’ Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 294 – 316.