How Orion Mall is Increasing its Revenue with a WhatsApp Chatbot

In times of online shopping and delivery services, it is not easy for malls to attract shoppers to come out. That’s why Orion Mall, Bangalore’s third-biggest mall, came up with an innovative idea. They launched a WhatsApp chatbot. In our WUMMM weekly talk, Rahul Malhotra, Head of Marketing at Brigade Group, explains how the chatbot was able to attract more shoppers, while providing them with an enhanced experience.

In Bangalore, the Orion Mall at the Brigade Gateway Enclave has been an institution for ten years. It’s not only the city’s third-largest mall. It also ranks number one in the country when it comes to their marketing efforts. Orion Mall has modernized the shopping experience by offering their visitors shopping, food, entertainment, and events.

However, in times of so many entertainment options, it’s hard for retailers to stand out with their offers. That’s why Orion Mall introduced “Orion Genie”, a WhatsApp chatbot that keeps visitors up to date with events at the mall, and answers their most frequently asked questions. In our WUMMM weekly talk, Rahul Malhotra, Head of Marketing at Brigade Group, explains how the bot works and how it’s helped them bring more visitors to the mall.



WhatsApp chatbot: giving mall visitors what they want

As a mall that has received awards for customer satisfaction, Orion Mall knows exactly how to make their shoppers happy: by giving them what they are looking for.

The mall has been successful at setting up a space at the Brigade Gateway Enclave where people love to come and spend the day shopping, watching movies, or enjoying fine dining. But Orion Mall also wanted to transport that experience to their customer communication.

In the past, they had informed customers via SMS, e-mail, or social media about their offers. However, these technologies seemed obsolete, says Rahul Malhotra, Head of Marketing at Brigade Group.

Instead of broadcasting information, without knowing if people were interested in it, we wanted to send users what they really wanted.

At the same time, the shopping center wanted to make sure to send relevant information to users as soon as possible. That way, they would know early on what was going on at the mall, and could plan their visits better. This is key for getting more foot traffic to the mall, as many visitors don’t come spontaneously, but actively plan to come and spend the whole day there. The revenue of the mall therefore depends on the number of shoppers.

Orion Mall was thus looking for a way to communicate their events fast and efficiently, increase the number of visitors, but also wanted to give users personalized content that would be relevant to them. That’s why they decided to partner up with the chatbot experts at Chatlayer by Sinch to introduce “Orion Genie”, a WhatsApp chatbot for the mall.

 

WhatsApp chatbot mall, Orion Mall

“Orion Genie” fulfills the wishes of the customers at Orion Mall. (Source: Facebook / Orion Mall)


The advantages of a WhatsApp chatbot in India

WhatsApp is India’s favorite social media app. Currently, the app counts 487.5 million users in the country. Indians use it to talk to friends and family, but also for administrative errands, or to shop. Consequently, many WhatsApp users in India have started reaching out to businesses on WhatsApp as well.

It therefore makes sense to implement a chatbot on a channel that users already love. In addition, the bot allows users to directly and easily search for the topics they are really interested in, which is exactly the personalized experience Orion Mall was looking for, says Rahul Malhotra.

A WhatsApp chatbot is the best way to send users the information they really want.


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What does the WhatsApp chatbot at Orion Mall offer?

The mall has promoted Orion Genie on social media, but also via QR codes in the mall—with great success. Since its launch in January 2022, the bot has handled more than 3,500 conversations per month and counts more than 2,000 active users.

Users can chat 24/7 with the bot through interactive buttons, and can find, for example, information about restaurants (opening hours, menu, location), movie theaters (what movies that are playing, screening times), or current events, just to name a few.

 

This makes it easier and faster for useres to access information, and has improved the turnaround time considerably.

The experience with the chatbot is really good. Customers can get information with just a few clicks.

Rahul Malhotra, Head of Marketing at Brigade Group

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How to successfully launch a chatbot

With so many different retailers, numerous restaurants, and various entertainment offers, it was quite challenging to set up a chatbot that answered the most important questions for all the different use cases.

While, for example, a banking chatbot only has to answer bank-related questions, Orion Genie had to be able to answer questions about restaurants, locations of retailers, discounts, movie schedules, and much more. That’s why in the first step, the team at Orion Mall together with Chatlayer by Sinch, narrowed down the most relevant questions.

In the second step, they needed to design the answers, and also consider possible follow-up questions by users. For example, if a user was asking for “pizza”, the bot should not only be able to indicate the different pizza restaurants at the mall, but also be prepared to answer a follow-up question about special offers.

That’s where the conversational design experience of Chatlayer by Sinch came in. Currently, there are 15,000 data points integrated in the bot. And it’s an ongoing process! The teams still work together to constantly improve the bot. As the Orion Mall team notices that users are asking questions that the bot cannot answer, they share that information with Chatlayer by Sinch who is then able to adjust the bot.

The synergy between our team and the team at Chatlayer by Sinch is great!

Rahul Malhotra, Head of Marketing at Brigade Group

For the future, Rahul Malhotra wants to add a feedback option to the bot. With this, he hopes to improve the bot, and create an even more meaningful user experience.


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