Trinity Leeds – Embracing the Connected Consumer?

Enjoy Digital
By Enjoy Digital
5 minutes to read

So today Leeds welcomed a brand spanking new shopping centre to our high street, Trinity Leeds

Trinity Leeds – Embracing the Connected Consumer?

The eagerly awaited centre opened its doors for the very first time at 10am this morning and was greeted by hundreds of shoppers all waiting to catch a glimpse of its shiny new interior and hit the shops for the latest must have’s. Social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram has been going crazy all morning with 100s of picture uploads and commentary around the opening and it seems like the vast majority of the city are really behind the new development, which is great to see for Leeds.

 I went along this afternoon for a look around with a bit of a different motive to most, although I was tempted by all the shiny new things! I wanted to see how much the centre and the shops had embraced digital technology to connect better with today’s modern consumer, and to see how far the centre had gone in terms of embracing technology to position itself as a truly modern shopping experience.

So let’s start with the Trinity Leeds mobile App..

Trinity Leeds – Embracing the Connected Consumer?

The App itself was launched only this morning on the App Store for iPhone as is due to launch on Google Play for Android shortly. Graphically I think the App is really neat, sound usability and if the objective of the App was for users to be able to find out what shops are in the centre and what is going on (especially when the new cinema opens) then it has successfully done it’s job. But for me it could be so much more!

It’s fair to say that it is only the first day and future versions will probably be made available, but some of the functionality that would have really made the mobile App sing for me could have been:

  • Better use/need for the check-in functionality – the App allows you to register and will geo-locate you when you are at the centre. I did this when I visited but I wasn’t rewarded with a why? Digging a bit deeper into the offers section there is a Members tab which alludes to some additional functionality coming soon. It would be great to see some really integrated CRM within the App that would allow me to collect loyalty offers of persoanlized incentives with the retailers. In the long term this kind of functionality in the App could be incorporated with some lovely push mobile marketing to drive footfall into the centre as people walk by on a busy Saturday on Briggate.
  • Map functionality - sorry but I think this is a little bit basic and could have been a lot better. The UX hasn’t really been thought about much here as I have to click every box on a floor plan to find out what shop is where – perhaps this could have been better incorporated into the store search functionality?
  • Offers – it has offers in there but these are simply just as a advertised list and I think the App misses a really trick here in being a driver for data capture for the centre. The use of QR codes or unique user offer codes that could be generated on redemption for retailers to be able to track customers and purchases at till point would be a great addition here

Overall I do think the App is a good start and certainly there is promise of more to come – let’s not forget it is the 1st day! However I just feel it could have done more to wow me… there is some great technology out there that could have made the App something truly innovative and worthwhile – after all customers really do have to have a reason to download it and remain connected to it as a useful resource.

Moving on from the App I was also really interested to see how, and if retailers within the centre had adopted a multichannel approach to servicing their customers in the connected world. Sadly I found very little evidence of this on my travels around the centre but there were shoots of hope from M&S and my faith was restored when I visited ‘Church’ (aka the Apple Store).

M&S have really embraced the ‘Omni-Channel’ approach and have positioned this highly as part of their store digital POS, something which many retailers can be guilty of doing is just not telling customers about their flexibility and giving this ample line of sight in store.  The Shop Your Way message is really clear here, allowing customers the flexibility to shop in-store, online or via a mobile device, and crucially with free next day delivery for collection in store. I thought this was great to see, as with the high street very much in the grasp of a recession in terms of consumer spending, giving customers the ultimate flexibility to get what they want, when they want it is even more important!

Trinity Leeds – Embracing the Connected Consumer?

One of the big highlights of Trinity Leeds for many a geek has got to be the new Apple Store. What a place! I could spend hours in there, all the geekery a girl could want plus well trained helpful staff doing everything your would expect from such a well loved superbrand. One example of where the Apple Store is embracing the Connected Consumer has got to be with their EasyPay service.

Trinity Leeds – Embracing the Connected Consumer?

The EasyPay service really is just that. It allows customers to scan and pay for goods (not the big stuff mind like a MacBook) via the Apple Store App. Simply scan the product bar code and check out in App and leave with your goods, your receipt and all the necessary paperwork will be emailed to you for safe keeping, much safer than a crumply paper receipt any day! The sales assistant I asked about it said she thought it would take time for customers to get their heads around using the service but given the size of the queue and footfall the store is bound to receive I think it will probably catch on - perfect for the tech savvy Apple customer.

One of the things which most interested me that I had seen in the press about Trinity was their push to incorporate Google Product Search into the stores and the centre as a whole. Available as a mobile App, Google Shopper allows customers to price check goods on the go by scanning product barcodes and searching for the cheapest price points online. It has been around for a while and I was really interested to see what Trinity Leeds would do with this… But all I found was this bit of digital signage..

Trinity Leeds – Embracing the Connected Consumer?

Now … I know I might have had unrealistic expectations here but it just left me a but flat really. Understandably retailers probably won’t want you price checking whilst on the go… they want your money there and then ringing in their tills… so it just seems a bit at odds with the whole shopping centre experience to me. If there was real weight behind incorporating the technology into the offering then I wanted to see more promotion, as I said with my M&S example you really have to hit customers in the face with offerings like this, perhaps some more in store POS could have been used?

Customers need to be reassured and are more conscious than ever about price so stores could have used this to promote a message about how they match or maintain consistent pricing on and offline for customers, with a CTA to check using the App? Just a thought …

So in summary I guess I would say that Trinity Leeds are making good progress when it comes to engaging with modern day Connected Consumers. It has a mobile offering, there is some evidence of stores and the centre embracing multichannel and price checking technology and I’m sure that in time there will be more to come. I’m looking forward to visting again and seeing how the place develops over the next 12 months, a big well done to the team who made today happen as the place had a great atmosphere today and is full of promise for the city!

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