How to Undertake a Shopping Center Customer Survey

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Shopping Center Customer Surveys are a special process that need planning and structure.

In undertaking a retail shopping center survey, the questions that you ask will impact the results that you seek.  Always plan the process.  Understand the retail property for what it is, where it is located, and what you are trying to achieve.

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Know the Retail Facts

Understand the property, the location, the customers, and the tenants as part of designing and implementing a retail shopping survey.  You will then have some meaningful retail information to work with.  You will then have something to work with as you improve the property over time.

So let’s look at how you can set up the key factors of information in the retail survey.  Here are some of the most important questions to explore as part of undertaking the survey:

  1. Where are the people (shoppers) coming from? – You will need to know where the shoppers are based. Are they local people?   Are they visitors to the property or the area?  Are they workers in the location?
  2. What stores do they like to visit? – Some stores will be more popular than others. Your key retailers will be valuable to the factors that you structure into your marketing campaign.
  3. How often do they visit the property and why? – Understand how often people come back to the property to shop and seek out their goods and services.
  4. What days of the week would they visit? – Some days of the week will be busier than others from a shopping perspective.
  5. What are their favorite shops? – Certain retail shops will stand out as ‘draw cards’ for the overall tenant mix and property.
  6. What type of customer are they? – Customers can be groups into segments such as ‘young families’, ‘empty nesters’, or ‘retired’. You will soon understand why people come back to your property and who they are.
  7. Are Vacancies impacting shopper expectations? – Be very careful with a retail property that contains reasonable levels of vacancies.  Those empty shops or vacancies will impact customer expectations and shopping patterns.
  8. What age group are they in? – Age is very relevant in positioning a retail property and the marketing associated with it.
  9. How much would they spend on average per visit? – You can glean these figures from sales trading information from each of the retailers.
  10. Why would they come back again? – Factors of attraction should be determined so you can get people to come back to your retail property and spend money frequently.
  11. What shops would they like to see added to the property? – It is wise to get feedback from your shoppers as to what they see missing from the tenant mix.

These are all quite simple questions, and the information that you can extract from the process will be valuable in the overall strategy behind retail property performance.

By John Highman

John Highman is an International Commercial Real Estate Author, Conference Speaker, and Broadcaster living in Australia, who shares property investment ideas and information to online audiences Worldwide.