Retailers have teased and rolled out online deals for days, even weeks, but the real Black Friday is here.
Since kicking off a drive to collect e-mail addresses from mall shoppers, General Growth Properties, which operates 135 malls, has been gathering addresses at the rate of 3,000 a week, the company reports.
Since kicking off a drive to collect e-mail addresses from mall shoppers, General Growth Properties Inc., which operates 135 malls, has been gathering addresses at the rate of 3,000 a week, Keith Maladra, vice president of customer relationship management for General Growth, tells Internet Retailer. General Growth will use the addresses to communicate sales and malls events to shoppers. “Consumers are really interested in getting this kind of information,” he says. Redemption on e-mail coupons has averaged 9%, Maladra says, vs. 2-3% for traditional direct mail coupons. Seventy malls so far are participating in the e-mail marketing efforts and Maladra expects 100 to be participating by the end of the year.
General Growth offers a chance to win a mall gift certificate as an incentive to consumers to provide their e-mail addresses. Consumers sign up at mall locations. They choose which types of retailers they want to receive information about. General Growth sends e-mails in an HTML format.
A further benefit that General Growth has discovered with its electronic approach is that surveying of shoppers is faster and cheaper. General Growth regularly surveys shoppers about services at the mall and now it can use its e-mail list as well as a button on its web site for surveying. Because the polling is electronic, General Growth can tabulate results instantly. "We are saving thousands and thousands of dollars doing electronically what we would have done face-to-face at the mall," Maladra says.
Replacing those face-to-face efforts with an automated system that still gives shoppers the feeling that they are being dealt with on a one-to-one basis is part of the beauty of e-mail and web-based systems, analysts say. "Who wouldn`t want to be able to talk to shoppers on an individual basis and tell them about the things they are really interested in," Maladra says. "But we could never have afforded to do that using traditional methods."