While Hong Kong’s retail market is intensely competitive, Sino Group has strived to enhance the shopping experience for customers. At the latest Marketing Events Awards, its shopping malls won seven awards in total.
Understanding the market and its customers has been the foundation to Sino Group’s success. And it has built on those foundations by exploring global concepts and ideas and bringing them to the Hong Kong market.
In 2018, the group invited audiences to celebrate Western and Eastern cultures through its events. Examples included the Mid-Autumn Festival “Lumiere Rabbit” installation, and the “Spirit of Christmas”, which involved working with London’s world-famous Regent Street to bring its signature Christmas light illuminations to Hong Kong.
“Our campaigns incorporate art, technology, social media and internationally inspired traditions. We constantly bring in new ideas; and embrace our community and Hong Kong’s diverse culture. These have contributed to our success in the city’s retail landscape,” says Andrea Leung, general manager of leasing marketing and promotions at Sino Group.
As Hongkongers often seek food and entertainment, Sino’s malls choose to host family-oriented, yet inclusive activities and campaigns across its locations. This summer, its activities will range from an ancient career experience for kids to specially produced baby concerts, aimed at creating a platform for families, rather than individuals, to enjoy their time.
These efforts by the group to offer Hongkongers new and unique experiences have drawn attention and the admiration from the wider industry community.
During the last festive season, it launched the “Sino x Niio Illumination Art Prizes 2018/19”, showcasing works from international artists on the digital walls of Tsim Sha Tsui Centre and Empire Centre.
Innovation and technology are further enhancing the shopping experiences of Sino Group’s customers. A STEM lab at Olympian City has been set up for educational purposes, and a partnership with AlipayHK has pioneered the city’s first pop-up smart shopping malls.
Such tech advancements – which have increased customer participation and loyalty to the malls – have included the debut of Hong Kong’s first unmanned store; the distribution of virtual promotional red packets; the introduction of various automated payment systems; the use of smile detection technology; and much more.
By incorporating these, as well as other AI and AR-based technologies, Sino malls are aiming to engage customers on both online and offline interactive platforms. The immersive marketing strategies are enhancing customers’ shopping outings, making them more comfortable, convenient and fun.
One other major technological improvement has been Sino Group’s recently launched S+ Rewards app, which offers a wide range of exclusive offers. It allows customers to shop and spend at more than 750 merchants across three flagship shopping malls – Tuen Mun Town Plaza, Olympian City, and Citywalk – to earn points. These can be redeemed for gifts.
The S+ Rewards app also provides other benefits such as priority status for activities in these malls. Shoppers can also redeem free parking hours directly using the app.
Other features include earning badges – each of them offering special privileges such as gifts and discounts. Interactive and social features in the app allow customers to share special offers, favourites, best-buys, sales, shopping tips, and memorable moments with friends.
And yet, greater challenges and opportunities still lie ahead.
“E-commerce, or more broadly, technology, is an increasingly prominent trend that has taken significant market share away from retail, but we ask ourselves about how to integrate online into offline, allowing customers to enjoy a more engaging, interactive shopping experience in the mall,” Leung said.