Retail Digital Transformation of CastleCourt


Shopping Centre, N.Ireland Retail Digital Transformation of CastleCourt

The Background & Challenge

 Delivering the same marketing strategy that has worked in the past can be the most dangerous thing for shopping centres in 2020, because customers now want more, customers want personalisation and an experience that is tailored to them.

CastleCourt Shopping Centre understood that they needed accelerator technology to sit at the core of their marketing strategy to gain a 360-degree view of their customers and to make the overall shopping experience even better and create new experiences, personal experiences that shopping centre visitors crave and expect.

The Solution

In June 2019, Velocity Worldwide was appointed by Savills to begin rolling out a retail digital transformation programme at the centre.

Velocity Worldwide would begin the process of revolutionising the shopping experience within CastleCourt via our data, personalisation and insights platform, Darius® For Retail – a platform already deployed by over 30 shopping centres across the UK and Ireland.

The key challenges for this digital transformation programme was that the centre only had 459 sets of shopper data, and retail tenants had not previously been engaged with existing marketing initiatives.

CastleCourt needed shopper data!

Within eight months of Velocity Worldwide being appointed, 88 percent of tenants were successfully engaged and 39 retailer campaigns were delivered.

These campaigns delivered 41,645 landing page views and 14,806 engagements, meaning 14,806 sets of active data and valuable shopper preference insights secured.

A key focus of the campaigns was to recruit data and secure key pieces of intel to begin the process of building out individual shopper profiles. The next phase of this programme was to communicate with the shoppers in real-time while in the centre. As Darius® for Retail is a cloud-based platform built on an open API, it can integrate with any existing technology infrastructure. Under NDA, Velocity began conversations with CastleCourt’s Wi-Fi provider Freerunnr, and in October 2019 successfully integrated with the centre’s customer Wi-Fi.

We can now have a two-way conversation directly with the shopper as they are in the centre, with the potential to impact their shopping behaviours that day. From a base of zero, Velocity grew the database to 8,500 engaged Wi-Fi connections. This had significant impact on building the shopper database, with 7,000 active shopper profiles being added to the database in Q4 2019. Across Velocity’s initial eight months of getting going with CastleCourt, they grew the shopper database from 459 data sets to +16,500 active shopper profiles: that’s real shoppers being communicated with on a weekly basis and in real-time.

This was +220% on the KPI set by CastleCourt’s asset managers.



The Results

Within eight months, 16,500 active shopper profiles have been secured, providing the centre with a database asset with an approximate value of £363,000.

Under Darius’s GDPR compliancy and Velocity’s IS0 27001 accreditation, the data secured includes first name, last name, email, SMS, postcode, gender and segmentation of shopping interests and behaviours.

100 percent of first names have been collected, meaning that each communication is personalised to each shopper.

64 percent of the shopper database is tagged to specific CastleCourt retailers. Most importantly, the ability to customise marketing content and communicate with shoppers in real-time via the Wi-Fi integration is significantly impacting retailers’ footfall, converting to sales. An example of this is CastleCourt retailer Matalan, who between 21st – 27th October took in £55,000 worth of transactions. Velocity developed a bespoke campaign highlighting and promoting their nightwear range. The products featured within a product guide which were issued to all those tagged within the database who were interested in Matalan and sleepwear via SMS and personalised e-zines. All products on the guide sold out and between 28th – 31st October. Matalan sales rose to £74,000. Another example was Jack and Jones who saw a 10 percent increase in sales during a Darius® campaign period, with featured items selling out. The centre is now benefitting from shopper behaviours and insights made possible through Darius® and have already moved allocated marketing spend to different channels based on the data intel.

In 2020 CastleCourt will turn 30: not only is it a big year historically for the centre, but it will also be a big year digitally as more integrations are planned, including; digital screens, interactive on-mall displays, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and interactive E-Gaming.

The smarts of Darius® algorithms and rules engine means the centre can send/change tailored content for shoppers, enhancing their overall shopping experience. 2020 will see CastleCourt Shopping Centre becoming the most connected shopping Centre in the UK and Ireland.

The final word goes to our client…

“In June 2019, our asset managers, Savills appointed Velocity Worldwide to help with developing and implementing a retail digital transformation programme for the Centre. What made Velocity so attractive was that they offered the necessary technology and technical know-how to help us begin our process of transformation, backed up with expertise and experience in retailer liaison and engagement.

“In a few short months we have seen significant growth in our shopper database – both quantitative and qualitative. A core factor in this was the integration of Velocity’s data, personalisation and insights platform, Darius® with our in-centre customer Wi-Fi. This quick-start way of making our existing assets work harder and smarter has given us the ability to not only deliver messages and promotions right into the hands of shoppers, in-centre, in real-time, but also to monitor and measure the effectiveness of our shopper marketing. This has already had a measurable and attributable impact on individual tenants’ footfall and sales.”

Leona Barr, Centre Manager, CastleCourt Shopping Centre

Ready to grow your business?

We’d love to show you how we can help you get more customers, spending more, more often

Get in touch