In the United States, many shopping malls are dying or dead. The numbers are devastating. Europe has followed the trend and must also deal with threat similar the US.
Then there is Amazon, the major threat to any kind of shopping mall or brick-and-mortar bookshops.
And most of us are thinking: “What the . . .?”
On the other hand, it is known that retailers must use social commerce techniques and -technologies for customer-facing sales initiatives. The customer journey begins with Facebook, Twitter, price-comparison websites, etc. The fact is, that a consumer has multiple digital connections with the retailer.
So why not accelerate these digital touch points?
Social commerce creates new customer segments and drives sales because it is used in more cost-effective digital channels. Gartner research shows that social media content has a direct positive impact on physical retail stores as well as digital channels, thus being an important enabler of multi-channel retail offerings.
Long ago, even before online, and to this day, the shopping mall’s primary idea is to have all products, brands, retailers at one location for their customers – just like online.
Nevertheless, it is very tiring to go shopping at a physical mall, not to mention that most malls aren’t centrally located. Most stores in these malls have their own online shop and nothing is connected, apart from being at one location competing against each other.
It’s time to unite all channels and customer touch points!
Take a look at the Gartner Hype Cycle for Digital Commerce from July 2015:
Shopping Malls, both “physical and digital”, have the power for a true omnichannel retail experience for the customer:
- Customers are recommended via social media by friends to visit the mall
- The mall brings together:
- Products, brands, retailers, parking
- Same-day home delivery
- Pickup at any point in or outside the mall
- Navigation to and within the mall
- Finding products in the shelves and navigating the customer there
- Returning products from any location back to the mall
- Ordering and delivering even within the mall while being at another store
- And many additional services . . .
Joint forces off- and online would drive customers back to the malls, because of all the shared customer services and advantages. These places are perfectly suited to offer venues, shows, sports and leisure experiences that enlighten the customer, similar toSurf & Style at the Munich Airport.
The digital mall concept works in many places – and not only in malls
This applies not only to shopping malls, but to all places where there are crowds of customers; this concept would work at:
- Main railway stations
- High Streets
- City Centers
Organizations should capitalize on this digital opportunity now, as today social commerce capabilities differentiate one site from another; the disrupting digitalization increasingly impacts retail and will play an important role within the digital strategy in the industry.
Joint forces bring joint opportunities and will energize businesses, and thus drive revenues to another, staggering level.