15 May 2020
Online sales for an offline world
The lockdown and closure of shopping centres during the Coronavirus outbreak brought to light the importance of bricks-and-mortar retailers having a digital channel for sales.
Shopping centres by their very nature are physical locations and should play host to a carefully curated mix of tenants, all offering tangible experiences for their customers. People will always relish going to places that can do this well. However, there is also a place for commercially focused shopping centre websites that, like department stores and online fashion retailers, can offer customers the opportunity to browse their brands’ inventories and purchase online for delivery, or click and collect.
E-commerce has long been a thorn in the side of shopping centres and deserves serious consideration. And it’s during a time like we are facing now where shopping centres have lain empty, that a digital sales channel would have allowed them to continue to trade and support their tenants, whilst keeping people safe.
We are working with our shopping centre clients to introduce this offering. With this functionality, we can set up product pages featuring their tenants’ key collections. Customers can then view, save, inspect and purchase from a retailer, via the shopping centre’s website. An array of additional services such as checking stock levels, increased product information and even chatbot assistance can be wrapped around this experience, so a customer feels like they have ‘virtually’ visited the centre.
This isn’t just a short-term solution for right now, but a way shopping centres can continue to show relevance in the fast-evolving digital world. It provides a channel for increased sales, whilst also creating the opportunity to drive physical footfall from online services.
Retailers that have adapted to changes in consumer behaviour have seamlessly surfaced relevant information in the right channels, using the Internet as a powerful tool to enhance their existing bricks-and-mortar stores. Those who embrace this customer journey now will surely reap the rewards ahead of those who fail to innovate and adapt.
Talk to us now to make sure you’re ready for the next chapter of retailing.