On July 6th 2017 – I finally had my Two Rivers Mall fix. While other people remember their first kiss, I am excited to take note of the day I first entered this mall. In case you do not know me and this is your first time here, I am permanently based in Dublin, Ireland. I have been working for Google Ireland for the last 2 years, which means I couldn’t get to experience the mall soon after its launch. I had to wait for my Nairobi visit to do so. Given the much anticipation to see it, I requested to be driven straight to the mall as soon as I landed. I may have been tired, but I knew I could not sleep until I see Two Rivers.
You may wonder why I am obsessed with the mall. You probably think I should have taken a chill pill and visited it after resting – after all it wasn’t going anywhere. For me Two Rivers is a symbol of development, we can actually boast about having the biggest mall in Sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa. Living in Europe has exposed me to how people out there think of Africa, which most times is rather irritating. Two Rivers is one reason why I should not be bothered by the ignorant perceptions of Africa. If anything, we should have more hope for our country.
Without further-a-do, here are the 3 big mistakes stores at Two Rivers Mall should avoid!
1. Not utilising the offers section on http://tworivers.co.ke/
Through the site alone I was able to count 13 restaurants that are currently open in the mall. When you visit the offer section, you can not see any deals from those same restaurants. Below are the search results I had as of July 7th 2017.Taking Spur as an example, you would be able to see that they indeed have offers on their main site as seen in the following image. This however has not been reflected on http://tworivers.co.ke/. I don’t see why they shouldn’t be.
Spur does have the opportunity to maximise on the huge traffic on http://tworivers.co.ke/ – especially after its recent launch and huge buzz around it. They should not expect potential customers to check the Two Rivers site and their website in order to make a decision, we live in an era where people want information FAST! All technology advancements are geared towards making it easier to access information, so restaurants need to feed into this trend otherwise they will be left behind. Here is an example of how Spur lost a customer.
I was treating my Family for diner and was hoping not to spend more than 10,000Kshs. Ideally when I go to Spur I spend roughly between 2,500- 3000 Kshs. Not because I eat much, when you factor in wine, the bill adds up. Now considering that I was buying a meal for 4 people, I wasn’t sure if the bill would cost more than 10,000Kshs at Spur. There was no information on http://tworivers.co.ke/ about their “Rib Thursdays” offer so we chose a restaurant that was visibly easy on the wallet.
I believe their prices are relatively affordable for majority of the upper middle income earners. Two Rivers Mall is a place where people come as a group and restaurant owners need to factor in that sometimes it’s one person who is responsible for footing the bill – if they can’t find deals online about your food, they will select what they know is within their price range. People will not come to your restaurant and ask “do you guys have any offers today?” It looks cheap and the waiters may not even be sure if you can afford what you order. Plus if you walk away people will assume you could not afford and that can hurt someone’s ego. To avoid such moments, they may not even consider stepping into your restaurant . And that’s how you lose customers even though they can afford your services, only because you did not effectively share information on http://tworivers.co.ke/.
As a side note, it may be worthwhile for the restaurants to introduce irresistible offers during the week to encourage traffic on slow days such as Monday and Tuesdays. Burger King has much cheaper food for Families, so if you want to foster healthy competition with the giant food chain, keep in mind that one person may be paying the bill. How can you make it easier for Fathers, single mothers, boyfriends and friends to foot the bill in your restaurant? When you answer that, communicate it online through all possible channels, most importantly on http://tworivers.co.ke/.
2. Not utilising their physical space to market their website and social media channels
You hustled for a space at Two Rivers, now use it to market your online platforms. There is not time to get comfortable and anticipate sales from the huge foot traffic the mall is attracting, you need to continue with your go-getter attitude.
“Review us on Facebook and stand a chance to win a 1000Kshs voucher”
“Follow us on Twitter and stand a chance to win 50% product discounts”
I am confident you would like more Facebook likes, why don’t you use your store to market your page? Don’t just waste the opportunity to market yourself in a store you are paying for!
3. Not utilising online maps to help customers locate their store
As expected from one of Africa’s biggest malls, it is not easy to find all stores. Especially for first-timers. Considering I could not use online maps, I had to ask around and we occasionally found ourselves on the wrong floor. It’s important that they use online maps to help customers find them, otherwise it is easy for someone to decide to enter another store that offers the same product or service as you. You don’t want to lose foot traffic just because you did not take 5 minutes to set up an online profile.
On my end I can recommend a free Google product, Google My Business that utilises Search, Google+ and Maps, but feel free to look for other options available for you. I am only mentioning the one I have experience in, as I said before, this blog will be objective and not geared towards promoting any company. Use whatever you prefer that can help customers find you through online maps!
Disclaimer: The post has been published in good faith. Like I said, I am obsessed with the mall and I just want everyone in it to be even more successful. I also accept that I am not aware of the digital steps the stores are planning to take, my ideas were influenced by my experience. Only sharing positive vibes here! I hope it contributes your amazing plans ahead!