Even when ecommerce & mall culture started almost at the same time, in the later ’90s, the growth of ecommerce in the last decade is known to create grimness in the market.
It’s a common belief in the retail sector that e-commerce will eat the sales of brick and mortar stores as well as that of malls. And, the future will show the comprehensive and bright picture of the online stores only.
But, that’s such a vague thought in reality.
The credits to this notion go to the massive discounts offered by the ecommerce websites in their early days. Those discounts and offers are meant to grab the attention of customers and develop the habit of this new trend. In contrast to the old days, if you see now, you will find that the cost of the products available on the e-commerce outlets at present have competitive pricing, but not inexpensive.
The share of ecommerce in the global retail sales touched 14.1% in 2019, and we expect it to reach 23% by 2023.
This ensures the growth of e-commerce business over the years. But, that’s just 14% of the global retail sales and 86% of business is still coming from the traditional market.
Is it even a fair thought to believe that e-commerce will crash retail & mall culture? Well, we don’t think so. The technology helps businesses explore new opportunities, and it’s not a source to smash them.
Why Do People Adore Shopping Malls?
Before talking about the malls’ fame, let us tell you why the mall culture started. In the late ’90s and at the start of 2000, malls were huge buildings offering the stores at not-so-pricey rates to the other shop owners to open their retail stores. You can call it an arrangement to start a store in a prime location and gain customers at the affordable infrastructure.
Lately, the investors & businesses involved got an understanding that a fancy building cannot bring all types of customers. And, there is a need for unique efforts that can make people stick to the malls. With research & analysis of years, the trend changed, and now malls are go-to weekend places for many people out there.
Shopping malls are gaining traction due to the availability of food, entertainment, recreational activities along with the primary notion of shopping. Rather than spending your evening in some restaurants nearby, malls give customers enough options to explore. Also, they give you the experience of checking the products, trying them, and buy only if that fits well. This personal touch of shopping is fun for a lot many people out there.
Are The Sales Of Shopping Malls Affected By Ecommerce? If So, Why?
Unlike the old times, the value system of shopping malls improvised a lot. Even when shopping malls are a package of recreation with shopping, the hours you will spend looking for the right product can’t be evaluated.
You will spend hours and hours looking at the products, trying, and checking if that goes well and comes in your budget, but you may get a bit of hard luck. That’s one of the major pain points of customers that ecommerce websites addressed very well.
‘Everything is costly in the mall’ is another thinking of people that dilutes the conversion rate over there and diverts people to online or native physical stores. The giant brands that happen to have shops in the malls are the primary reason behind this thinking. When people have the option to purchase the same product for less price, they will surely vote for that option.
Shopping malls are part and parcel of the life of the brand lovers. If you are such a picky person, you will have a few rounds to your beloved malls every month. What if you can get your favorite products delivered at your door without any extra charges? That’s a win-win for shoppers, and this is why brand lovers prefer to shop online.
How Can Shopping Malls Improvise Their Customer Experience?
It’s tough to keep the customers’ count in the shopping malls, as there is a huge crowd. This implies that a customer will no longer get benefited from this shopping experience they had unless they go again. Loyalty gift cards can build the bridge between customers & stores at malls, but only if you go often and be communicative with the on-floor staff.
Ecommerce businesses win at this point, as they leverage Google Analytics to keep track of customers coming to the store. They help you track the user activity and gain a better understanding of the shopping behavior. Further, you will get a good database that you can use for marketing and share the offers of similar products.
It’s the technology that is the reason behind the growth of the ecommerce business. You can have the upper hand on the ecommerce stores if you walk with the technology and bring innovations with your brick and mortar sales.
● Leverage technology
Deploy Business Intelligence (BI) for your business and try to get the maximum physical stores. iBeacon Technology, firstly launched and used by Apple in 2013, is known to track customer behavior based on responses gathered by the mobile app. The users with that app installed will be tracked, and this will give you information about the interaction pattern of customers in the mall when leveraged for this purpose. By deploying this option, smart devices can help you understand and assist customers in their next journey, even when purchasing online.
iBeacon allows you to track customers and gather data to create the heatmap based on that information. This will help you personalize the shopping experience of users and retain the same for a larger period. Further, the same database can be used to interact with customers and build connections with them.
● Walk with the trending technology
Technology is known to gain customers’ attention, so you can count on it to engage people. But, it gives you a more important thing than the attention; and that is DATA. Let’s say you create the blend of AR & VR to allow the customer to try certain outfits on them without actually wearing them. Like Titan, you can create an in-store dashboard that allows the customer to scan the face and try different specs without actually wearing it; this will make it easier to make the right choice and try only ones needed.
With the features of face recognition, you will be able to gain data about customers’ choices based on their face shape and features. Further, you can use this information to launch the new style of products and manage inventory accordingly. Based on customer preferences, you can approach them with the latest models and invite them to come to your store to look.
● Self Checkout
After a good movie show, customers are less likely to spend some time wandering in malls. Even if they have to buy some much-required products, those long queues in the checkout will change their minds. By enabling self-checkout at the billing section of the store, you can give them a reason to stay.
For the ease of customers, you can assign the duty to your on-floor staff to guide customers through store checkout options if they are not comfortable managing on their own.
● Enable Click & Collect
By enabling an option of ‘Click & Collect,’ you will add the benefit of ecommerce as well as shopping malls. To enable such an option for your mall, you need to have a website for your business. When customers have all the inventory available online, they can compare and add everything in their cart to proceed with the checkout at their comfort. The order will be processed, packed together in the mall, and set ready for pickup. This gives the liberty of shopping and selecting at a suitable time of one’s choice.
Now, a customer can come to the store when navigating through the same and take the package along with it. The in-store pickup option helps customers get the order straight away rather than waiting for days to get them delivered. This allows you to grab the offers and discounts on in-store sales.
These are just a handful of ideas that we have shared to make your shopping malls a success. You have to believe the fact that e-commerce is known to give a distinct experience than that of a shopping mall, and they aren’t in competition.