The data, comprising over 57,000 advertisements from mall tenants from the last five years, shows the use of keywords such as sustainable and green has significantly increased. Counterintuitively, the data also shows offers with the keyword organic have become much less prevalent. This is in comparison to data from 2018, where organic dominated the ads that contained sustainable themes.
“Through our aggregated data from over 250 malls across Europe and Asia, we can see mall retailers and owners adapting to the evolving customer demands and expectations,” explains Markus Porvari, CEO and founder of HyperIn. “For example, it is clear that retailers believe consumers are increasingly seeking sustainable options. Even though the majority of the offers we see each year are very practical with deal-related information, our study indicates that tenants this year are using ad opportunities to impact sustainable behaviors beyond what used to be just organic food,” Porvari continues.
The data follows other reports that indicate sustainability has become one of the most important factors influencing consumer purchase decisions, even though the word sustainability itself is curiously absent from use in approaching customers. Studies also point to a current disconnect between retailers and consumers, with vendors presently failing to leverage sustainability’s customer attraction as much as they could.
“There has been a lot of discussion of how sustainability as a theme can be used by marketers. The past years have given us good insights on how the different sub-categories under that theme have been trending,” says Hannu Käki, VP of Business Development at HyperIn. “For example, in 2018, the word organic was being used in almost one out of every 100 offers. Since then, it has gone down yearly. Now, in 2022, the use of organic was only roughly 10 percent of what it was in 2018, whereas the word green has nearly tripled from its level in 2018.”
This trend can be seen in more than just the data but also in practice. In their work, the HyperIn team has observed examples from around the world where retailers in malls can make a sustainable impact on the mall experience.
“I was recently traveling in Mexico, where coffee shops in the mall were advertising a discount for customers that brought their own cup,” says Jean Carlos Delgado, Marketing and Brand Director at HyperIn. “It’s so easy to turn these kinds of messages into offers on, for example, a customer loyalty app. The sustainable future of shopping malls depends on direct interaction with consumers and looking at the data that tells us about the experience.”
“We learn so much from data. In the post-COVID-19 and eCommerce era, retail real estate must analyze their customers and campaigns using Big Data to develop successful consumer digital journeys,” Delgado concludes.