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Shopping Centres Celebrate Diversity through Promoting Inclusivity

Eris Property Group has made history with South Africa’s first-ever bilingual shopping centre websites with chatbots

South African property development and services company, Eris Property Group (Pty) Ltd, have made history launching South Africa’s first ever bilingual shopping centre websites with chatbots. The websites, conceptualised, designed and developed by boutique marketing agency, The Blue Room, celebrate South Africa’s diversity and seek to forge lasting bonds with consumers. As the late President of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

The first website, an isiXhosa / English website for The Mall, KWT – a mall in the Eastern Cape town of King William’s Town. The second website, an Afrikaans / English website for Plattekloof Shopping Centre – a shopping centre in the Cape Town northern suburb of Plattekloof in the Western Cape. Both malls are owned by Momentum Metropolitan Life Limited and is managed by Eris Property Group.

The Mall, KWT’s consumers are predominantly amaXhosa, English or bilingual, whereas Plattekloof Shopping Centre’s market is predominantly Afrikaans, English or both.

The websites offer consumers information about the shopping centres, their stores, events and more. It also features a chatbot that communicates in the respective languages.

Marketing Manager, Nobambo Goduka said: “We are always looking for exciting, innovative ways of connecting with our shoppers and we are thrilled about the launch of these two websites. In a diverse country such as ours, which has eleven official languages, it is important that we celebrate these identities in an inclusive manner.”

Goduka continued: “The time of speaking at consumers needs to be a thing of the past. Now is the time for us to have actual conversations with them. We need to come together with our shoppers on a human level and what better way than through communicating with them in their mother tongue?”

Cape Town based agency, The Blue Room, that created the websites is no stranger to innovation and last year walked away with four awards at the South African Council of Shopping Centres’ annual Footprint Marketing Awards – two of which were for digital campaigns, one of those, another South African first.

Talking about The Mall and Plattekloof Shopping Centre’s new websites, Founding Member and CEO of The Blue Room, Andreana Holmes, said: “Innovation is one of the pillars of our company and I am so proud of my team’s work on this project. We are grateful to Eris Property Group for entrusting us with the opportunity to push boundaries and do something new for the industry.”

Holmes continued: “We have brought together one of the oldest mediums, language; as well as a newer medium, the internet, to break down boundaries between consumer and brand.”

Project lead, Jono Duguid, who is a Digital Marketing Specialist at The Blue Room added: “Globally, we are seeing a move towards the celebration of diversity through inclusivity – especially online – and it has been really special to create these two solutions for Eris Property Group.”

At a time where loyalty is hard earned, consumers are exercising their right of choice at an accelerated rate, and the fourth industrial revolution moves in rapidly, Eris Property Group, which has a portfolio that spans across the African continent, is proving itself to be a pioneer in the consumer and digital space.

Visit www.themallkwt.co.za to browse The Mall, KWT’s website and https://plattekloof.capetown to browse Plattekloof Shopping Centre’s website.

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