How do we create the need or desire to want to visit a physical space?

Mary has been at home for 12 weeks.  She’s ordered everything she wants or needs online and it’s been delivered to her doorstep, often within 24 hours.  She hasn’t had to leave the house and go to a place where she doesn’t feel safe and is worried about her health.

John has set up his home office on the dining room table.  His commute to work has reduced from over 1 hour to a 30-second walk down the stairs.  He hasn’t had to get on public transport to reach his office.  He can get an extra 2 hours of phone calls, emails and research into his daily routine and doesn’t have to get up at 6 am.

So how do we get people off their sofa into a physical shopping place? And how do we get employees to come back to their office? They’ve been working from their home office for over 12 weeks.

The answer is unknown, but it has to be a mix of experiential led by clear communication and the desire for human interaction.

The communication needs to be clear and concise.  It needs to pre-empt the questions and concerns that Mary and John have.  The information needs to be easy to understand and friendly.  But most of all it needs to reach them directly, they don’t want to go looking for the information.  They want to feel reassured that if they do venture outside their front door that they know what the latest protocol is.  They want to be 100% sure that they are going to be at a safe distance from another shopper or a colleague.

The right proptech tool can help you clearly communicate with your centre staff and tenants.  And a consumer version can push out the right messages to the right people at the right times.  At the click of a button, people are informed and with Mallcomm you also know who has been informed.

The experience also needs to be of value to the individual.  Experience doesn’t need to be (and can’t be at the moment) a big event or grand gesture.  The experience can be as simple as smelling freshly ground coffee from their favourite coffee shop or the vision of colour in front of their eyes, rather than through a digital screen.

We were born to be social.  In time the need for physical interaction will outweigh the convenience of constant digital interactions, we hope.