At the latest industry conference, key players showed new technologies that have been developed for malls and retail shops.Recently, the Malls.com team visited the beautiful city of Berlin. It was not our first trip to the city and once again we found the experience of being a tourist very easy and enjoyable, due to the good weather and transport links, as well as the conveniently located restaurants and shops.
This time we were in Berlin for the ICSC Marketing Conference, which took place in the Hotel Adlon, a 5-star hotel near the Brandenburg Gate. The program of the event was very busy, and one of the main topics of this conference was new technologies for retail and shopping centers. Over the last few years, we have been participating in many retail events and we are very glad to see that an increasing number of market players paying more attention to the Internet and technology.
ECE, one of the leading European shopping mall owners and managers, presented some major directions that the industry can take in terms of innovation: mobility, orientation, entertainment and convenience.
- Car Sharing: inclusion of new mobility concept;
- Easy to Park: simple, cashless parking without a ticket;
- Car Finder: carefree parking with the QR code.
- Google Maps: simple orientation to suit the surfing habits of customers;
- iBeacons: easily find desired location in the center;
- Infogate: customer service 2.0 – information via live video broadcast;
- 3D Wayfinder: simple navigation using a 3D guidance system – stationary and mobile.
- Multisense Experience: scents, sounds and lights;
- Digital Playground: fun for the little ones with interactive and digital technologies;
- Mall Wall: interaction and gamification meet product presentation;
- Selfie Photo Box: witty funscreen snapshots to post and share.
- Love to Shop: the center apps for tailor-made customer contact;
- Same Day Delivery: shopping without the schlepping;
- Click, Buy and Collect: shopping with the center app.
- Free Wifi: saves data volume and keeps a customer happy.
Most people nowadays use Google or Apple Maps to find best route to get from A to B. New technologies will help customers find the shops, services, facilities and meeting places they need inside the mall easily. Bluetooth and small iBeacons help to find the exact location of the visitor within a store or mall and send them highly contextual, hyper-local messages and advertising on their smartphones.
For those who do not like to use smartphones while shopping, shopping centers offer a easily accessible stationary electronic stands to provide information so that customers can navigate inside the mall effortlessly. Modern 3D Wayfinders offer high quality floor plans of the malls with shortest routes to stores and other facilities.
While shopping, consumers will be able to order food in the cafes and restaurants in the food-court via mobile applications. This means that when the orders are ready, customers can get them immediately, therefore, skipping the lines.
E-commerce has made such useful things, like “click and collect” (buy online and pick up from the store) a reality. This service is very popular because online shops currently offer high levels of personalization, in terms of offers and prices. However, very soon these personalizations will be offered by traditional retailers too and consumers will able to find personal special offers, prices and services in shopping malls and stores.
It is not so hard to imagine that shoppers will be notified about personalized special offers just after entering the store. In addition, applications and sales assistants in the store will recommend items and products to customers based on their personal profiles and order history.