Saturday, November 24, 2012

How shopping centres can innovate and save the high street

Entertainment is playing an important role in the customer journey through concepts like gamification and pop-up shops for instance, but it seems that not everyone is taking advantage of this. 

Almost everywhere in the world shopping centres are currently revamping or downsizing to survive.

Their future may not include stores as we know today, but increasingly more pop-up retailers showcasing their products or services and the use of mobile and digital technology to enhance the in-store experience. 

 
  
Pop-up stores are a great way to test different markets, launch new products, showcase a collection, increase brand awareness and entertain. The property market needs to be more flexible to allow retailers to innovate.

There are five reasons why shopping centres should be innovating and leading by example.

1. It’s all about the branding.

Brands are still far from offering a seamless multichannel experience and according to a recent Econsultancy survey, only 4% of shoppers never use the internet to look for information about offline purchases.
Q. Do you research purchases on the internet before buying from a local store?
2. Anchor stores are not that profitable anymore to shopping centres 
An anchor store is usually one of the largest, most important and prominent stores in a shopping centre, a key brand capable of generating awareness and footfall, with the magnetic pull to entice and attract visitors.

3. Online and offline are merging Westfield tweet mirror
The suggestions made in Econsultancy’s recent report, “How the internet can save the high street”, should also be adopted by shopping centres.
Shopping centres should use their brand on the web to drive customers into stores and help their tenants improve the in-store experience through online as well.

4.The best business models are agile
To remain competitive in a multichannel world, retailers need to find a solution to showcase the products in the physical world and to sell online while creating a seamless experience across all touch points.

5. Theme parks are fun. Shopping centres should be fun too

Shopping centres have spawned a new wave of consumers looking for places to shop and play.
While having fun, shoppers may be very open to unplanned purchases of novel goods and services, providing the opportunity for spontaneous purchases.

Conclusion

All multichannel retailers know that getting an integrated view of how customers are shopping across multiple channels is key and how important it is to get a clear understanding of how data systems should be integrated.

Are shopping centres looking at this in any way? Are there any other examples worth mentioning? What are your thoughts on an online marketplace strategy for shopping centres?
Should shopping centres support retailers by allowing more pop up stores and in what way would this help high street retailers?

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