Attracting and retaining quality merchants to your shopping development is a lot like hiring that one employee that you can’t live without. In fact, your shops, restaurants, spas, gyms, in a sense are your employees. At the center of each business, the employees, or for a shopping center, the leasing merchant, is what drives and makes your development thrive. So how do we convince these businesses to lease with you before they even enter the property? It starts with your website online experience.

Provide a positive website experience 

Which would leave a higher impact? A.) A website that is dedicated to your specific shopping mall or B.) A single page on the partners commercial real estate website with merely the leasing contact information. If you chose “A,” DING, DING, DING! You are correct. Building a complete website for your center allows you to establish your brand story, the culture, and the environment your development is about before they make the phone call to inquire. It further positions your development as a place that strives to attract traffic to their development. One of the top concerns of a brick-and-mortar store is how will I get people to my doors. You just solved it – you pre-established a trust relationship that you are not relying on them 100% to keep your center populated.

Showcase your leasing merchants

Have a business that is striving to new heights? Help them promote! Showcase them on your website and social media to help boost their foot-traffic. These are the tenants you want to retain. It is difficult to find tenants that are willing to spend marketing dollars. Rewarding this shows to potential merchants that you care about their success and are willing to support them in their endeavors.  

Put them on the map

The top reason people will visit a shopping center’s website is for the directory/map and upcoming events. Having the merchant listed on your website boosts their SEO by giving them a local citation and linkback. It also allows web crawlers to see who is relevant to your center. 

It is important that the map is up to date with your current listings. When was the last time you went on outing and had to use GPS, only to have GPS point you in the wrong direction. You were confused, you were baffled – how dare technology betray you. Same with your map, if you have the listing misplaced or a closed store still listed, visitors will not appreciate the mis-information and connects your development with a bad experience immediately.

Lastly, want to take is a step further? Create a Google My Business account for your center and claim your merchants. You can even dispute businesses that have cited themselves within your development that are not leasing with you. 

Engage with the community

What do people hunger for these days? Entertainment! With the power of social media, came the power to advertise events. Events are a great way to give back to the community, create new foot-traffic, and showcase your leasing merchants all at once. How does this translate digitally? The second most hit page on a shopping development website is the event page. People aren’t wanting to sit at home and drink lemonade on the porch anymore, they are wanting to discover, dine and play.

Holding events once again reinforces that your shopping center is actively attracting new visitors to your location every day. These events give your merchants the opportunity to put on their best face and convert these visitors into life-long customers. 

A website online experience benefits both your visitors and leasing merchants. It qualifies your center to potential merchants as an active location that is continually and actively attracting foot-traffic to their store.

The aim of this blog post is to open your mind to the possibilities of what could happen if you support your leasing merchants with an online digital experience. After all, what makes them successful makes your center successful.