The shopping center, which is located at ECE’s European headquarters, will be the first center with improved services aiming at meeting the wishes and needs of its customers even better.
Based on the findings of the service study of the same name, ECE looked at the entire “Customer Journey”: From searching online at home, the arrival in the parking garage, the sources of information and the leisure services in the center, to returning home. The results of this analysis allow ECE to emphasize and optimize the existing services and add new ones.
“’At your Service’” is a holistic approach to creating a positive shopping experience for our customers from their arrival to their departure,” explains ECE CEO Alexander Otto. “We identified all so-called ‘touchpoints’ in a study last year and assessed their importance for our visitors. Based on these findings we can now analyze each center individually and add new services or improve the existing ones.”
By 2020, the company will invest 160 million euros into the first wave of approximately 60 centers.
Alstertal-Einkaufszentrum is the first center where “At your Service” will be put into practice: A successful visit to a shopping center always starts at home. Therefore, the website of AEZ was given a makeover. In addition, customers can use the “Digital Mall” to check the availability of more than 100,000 products in the center online and reserve them. They can also use the ‘Love to Shop’ app to find out about special deals and buy them directly.
ECE and the city of Hamburg are planning a dynamic parking guidance system in the vicinity of the center, which show vacant parking spaces in the area. Once in the parking garage, customers will be guided quickly to the vacant parking spaces by colored lights.
Moreover, new entrance areas, an improved indoor navigation and signage in the center as well as the different color designs in the parking garage and modern lobby areas will give customers as warm welcome. Wider parking spaces, additional charging stations for electric vehicles, and new bicycle parking spaces will make the visit to the center even more convenient.
To help customers to find their way around at AEZ with its 240 shops, ECE will increase the number of signs and provide more information about the services in the center. The customer information desk will be redesigned and a coupon vending feature will be added to the Info Gate. In addition, further 3d Wayfinders will also be installed in the center.
High quality lounge areas with comfortable seating, ambient lighting, and charging stations for smart phones and tablets will improve the quality of stay. Furthermore, the restrooms will be completely modernized and attractive lobby areas will be added to them. Last but not least, the play areas for the young visitors will be redesigned from ground up.
“By implementing all these improvements, we hope to meet our visitors’ expectations which we identified in a survey among AEZ customers,” explains Center Manager Christian Frauenstein. “Alstertal-Einkaufszentrum has always been a role model when it comes to customer services. Now it will pioneer in ECE’s holistic ‘At your Service’ campaign.”
In order to be successful and to stand out from its competitors both from the online and the offline world, a shopping center has to provide attractive and customized services. Therefore, a large number of centers will follow the example of Alstertal-Einkaufszentrum.
Once the improvements to the services at AEZ are completed, the experience from this pilot project will be assessed and considered for the further implementation of “At your Service”. The next centers will include, among others, City-Galerie Siegen, Billstedt-Center Hamburg, and Allee-Center Magdeburg.