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Challenge


In 2014, YasMall emerged as a prominent new player in Abu Dhabi’s retail and entertainment scene, coinciding with the high-profile Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. As a “Super Regional” shopping mall, YasMall aimed to transcend traditional retail experiences by attracting not only local customers but also tourists and shoppers from neighboring cities. Its strategic location near iconic attractions like Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, and Yas Waterworld positioned YasMall as a central hub in a vibrant tourist district.
Spanning over 2.5 million square feet, YasMall is Abu Dhabi’s largest mall, featuring over 600 retail shops, restaurants, a 23-screen cinema, and various family entertainment options, including the “Fun Works” area for children.
Despite its impressive physical presence and strategic location, YasMall faced a significant digital challenge: transforming its website from a basic informational tool into a dynamic, engaging platform that effectively drives physical visits to the mall.
The challenges identified for the website redevelopment included:

Enhancing Visitor Conversion: The website needed to transition to a compelling digital experience that motivates potential visitors to physically visit YasMall. This required a strategy focused on user engagement and swift access to practical information such as store locations and operating hours.
Maintaining Up-to-Date Information: Given the dynamic nature of retail environments, the website had to ensure real-time accuracy of the mall’s offerings. This required a flexible and efficient content management system capable of seamless updates.
Accessibility and Usability: The website redesign prioritized intuitive navigation to accommodate users from various backgrounds and digital proficiency levels, ensuring an inclusive user experience.
Market Positioning and Brand Perception: YasMall’s digital presence had to highlight its unique selling propositions and affirm its brand identity, positioning it as a premier destination for shopping, entertainment, and dining in Abu Dhabi.

Objective


In response to the fast changing landscape, YasMall faced unprecedented challenges, necessitating a strategic pivot in how it could attract visitors in a rapidly changing consumer landscape. The primary objective was to integrate YasMall into every shopper’s and tourist’s itinerary by showcasing it as a must-visit destination offering unique, engaging experiences. This goal required addressing the needs and preferences of local shoppers, visitors from other cities, and international tourists through targeted, compelling digital content.
For local shoppers, the website needed to provide accurate, user-friendly directories, interactive maps, and updated shop timings to enhance convenience and reliability. For visitors from other cities, the focus was on broadcasting YasMall’s diverse calendar of events and attractions, transforming the website into a vibrant showcase. For tourists, the goal was to feature unique experiences prominently, making YasMall a non-negotiable part of their travel plans.

Strategy & Tactics


To align with its overarching objectives, YasMall initiated a robust digital strategy centered around a deep understanding of its diverse customer base. The approach was data-driven, leveraging insights into the distinct shopping behaviors, preferences, and digital interaction patterns of different audience segments.

Key strategic actions implemented included:

Category-Based Sorting: YasMall reorganized its directory from an alphabetical listing to a category-based sorting system. This user-centric design helped customers efficiently locate stores that matched their specific shopping needs and preferences, enhancing the overall user experience.
Loyalty Program Integration: The loyalty program was strategically highlighted within the digital interface, aimed at deepening engagement with local shoppers. This integration served to bridge the gap between online browsing and in-mall purchases, encouraging repeat visits and sustained customer relationships.
Enhanced Visibility of Entertainment Options: Recognizing the draw of its entertainment offerings, YasMall increased the online visibility of its cinemas, family entertainment zones, and cultural events. This move was designed to attract a broader audience looking for an all-encompassing shopping and entertainment experience.
Promotion of Special Offers: By prominently featuring special offers and promotions, YasMall targeted cost-conscious shoppers. This tactic was not just about savings; it was about creating compelling reasons for visitors to choose YasMall over other retail options.
Tourist-Friendly Information: With a significant number of tourists visiting Abu Dhabi, YasMall added essential travel information to its website. Details on nearby accommodations, transportation, and tourist attractions were made readily available, making YasMall a convenient and attractive option for tourists planning their itineraries.

The website enhancements were executed on the existing CMS platform, Umbraco, known for its flexibility and scalability. This choice ensured that the upgrades could be implemented efficiently, leveraging the platform’s robust features to enhance user experience. A significant upgrade was the integration of 3D maps for each store, building upon the mall’s existing wayfinder system to revolutionize the in-mall navigation experience.

Results


The results following the launch of YasMall’s revamped website were significant and indicative of the strategy’s success. The website saw a remarkable increase in engagement, with the average number of pages per visit rising from 2.2 to 3.4, a 50% increase. This enhanced user experience likely contributed to deeper site engagement and more thorough visit planning.

Most compellingly, YasMall experienced a 22% increase in footfall in June 2023 compared to June 2022. This significant rise in visitors is a direct testament to the effectiveness of the digital strategy in converting online interest into physical visits. These measurable outcomes highlight the crucial role the strategic website overhaul played in attracting more visitors to YasMall, reinforcing its position as a leading shopping and entertainment destination in Abu Dhabi.

By addressing the challenges and achieving its objectives, YasMall’s digital strategy successfully transformed its website into a pivotal tool for visitor conversion, ensuring the mall remains a preferred destination for both locals and tourists alike.



50% Rise

Increased Engagement

22%

Increased Walk-in Visitors

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