Sheffield’s Meadowhall Shopping Centre scoops top award for retail tech

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Sheffield’s Meadowhall Shopping Centre has won an award for marketing for its use of ‘groundbreaking’ mobile phone beacons.

The location-based technology works with ‘hotspots’ placed across the centre, which turned the entirety of Meadowhall into one giant real-life game, with shoppers encouraged to zip round and make use of all the beacons.

The tech was used for a ladies’ night shopper event last year. Those who downloaded the app could track down and redeem offers.

The app was downloaded more than 500 times in three hours, with almost 500 offers redeemed. All 120 hotspot offers were redeemed within the first 52 minutes of the event.

A spokesman for Meadowhall has said the event was so successful that another one is planned for this year.

The centre picked up a Purple Apple Merit Award for tactical marketing at the BCSC Purple Apple Awards for retail.

The awards are the ‘only awards that recognise and reward effective shopping and town centre marketing within the UK retail property sector’, says BCSC.

Jess Stephens, chief marketing officer at SmartFocus, said: “We are delighted that our customers’ innovative marketing has been recognised by the BCSC with excellence in retail marketing awards.

“The shopping centre proves that effective beacon marketing helps to increase loyalty with the upshot of greater retail revenue. We are thrilled the innovative shopping centre continues to work with SmartFocus to engage and delight their customers.”

Ladies’ Night will be held again this year on June 4 from 6pm to 9pm.

A spokesman for the centre said: “We’ll be launching some very special hot spot offers throughout the evening, and to find them, you’ll need to download the Ladies’ Night app. When you find a hot spot, wait for the offer, and then visit the store to redeem it. These offers will be strictly limited, so keep your eyes peeled.”