How malls are evolving beyond retail!

Malls today are offering much more than food and shopping, they are investing into projects which give shopping a wider experience that includes entertainment, lounges, eateries and amusement.
How malls are evolving beyond retail!

India Just Crossed 1 Billion Mobile Subscribers Milestone & many believethe excitement's just Beginning. With over 125 Million data subscribers, the third highest in the world, our telecom industry is one of India’s fastest growing sectors. Demonetization has seen the government urging the people to openly embrace the digital culture , and that is going to have long term benefits for almost everybody in the retail sector.

Evolution is inevitable everywhere.. be it the Human race, T20cricket or then the global retail industry. First came the concept of all products under one roof, to the need of actually branding oneself to stand out and now with the proliferation of ecommerce and the plethora of options even there, the next round of evolution beckons. From convenient spaces to experiential and community ones, the first era of evolution took us half a decade, the next era will probably take us half of that. The question begging the industry at large is how we convert the buzzwords of social spaces, experiential hubs, entertainment destinations and interactive animated spaces into tangible spaces that people experience in our mammoth structures? The solution lies right before us.  It lies not in the fact that we combat what is today commonly referred to as the Internet of Things, but us becoming a part of the InternetOf Things and blending the experiential with the digital to deliver a seamless  experience to your consumer. One where he starts the process of say offline but ends it online, but without any change in the entire experience.

The Internet Of things therefore in Malls covers all aspects of Marketing, Shopping, Business Management and comprehending Shopping Behaviour through Shopper Intelligence Systems. 

Experience

Malls today are offering much more than food and shopping, they are investing into projects which give shopping a wider experience that includes  entertainment, lounges, eateries and amusement. But what happens when you want to take experience beyond imagination. How do you get someone to experience fireworks in a mall, or walk the moon like a NASA scientist, roam the planet like a dinosaur or swim with Killer whales? The answer of course lies in Augmented Reality.  A superb example like the one we have launched in Ahmedabad where thousands of people everyday are wowed by wonders of the Arctic Creatures.

Shopping :

Beacons finally are finding acceptance , not just by malls, but by consumers searching for discounts within malls. Pokémon has pushed the concept of floating deals possible and finally shopping goes beyond just jumping from store to store.

Consumer Behaviour & Advertising

An old adage on advertising goes like this : Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.This has been attributed to John Wanamaker, US department store merchant way back in the early 1900’s. Imagine, this adage hods true ebentoday?what if we could know which advertising really works? Well, now we can.Advertising kiosks come with sensor cameras that change messaging depending on gender looking at them. They also, guage how much time one spend looking at them. Consumer companies will spend millions to know this information as also to always reach the correct audience. It works both ways for the mall companies to target the right clients , and the advertisiers to push products in places that work.

For shopping too, malls have the option to go head on with e-commerce companies. While a  few mall owners  are experimenting with their own platforms, there are also a handful of companies who are offering plug & play models for taking the traditional offline business of malls online. In fact with handy options like kerb side pickup and a few more, these may be just the stuff that consumers want. The Internet of things seems to be winning again.

Shopper Intelligence

Wifi& Malls are being traditionally used to push offers and as experience building initiatives. But, these are just the start of something big. Imagine these telling you where your shopper goes, how he travels in a mall, and the amount of time he spends in certain areas of malls. We have at our disposal today tons of data companies that help us getting this data on our finger tips. Big data analytics & artificial intelligence are then  used to analyse and study the granular details of consumer behaviour & patterns that the consumer himself may not be aware of. These are just he told one needs to keep innovating & evolving according to changing consumer needs and tastes.

A small piece on all of this is data collected is only useful when used appropriately. Left unprocessed, it I billions of useless data in binary code, use this well, and you have no fear of extinction like the Dinosaurs that did so many years ago.  The message is clear .. Transform or Perish.

The article has been pen down by Nishank Joshi, Chief Marketing Officer, Nexus Malls. 

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