The retail industry has undergone a tremendous transformation over the years. Earlier malls would be simple brick and mortar structures with apparel stores along with some food markets. However, with the advent of technology and the improved standard of living, malls have embraced the change and converted their establishments into premier hubs for shopping, entertainment and leisure. Malls are now going beyond the usual and striving to offer infinite experiences with a range of facilities, engagement activities, and more. To add to the customers’ delight, the government has allowed Malls to remain open 24x7 in Mumbai thus offering round the clock entertainment and joy.
This year, we can expect to see a lot more trends making inroads in the mall industry. Let’s dwell into them.
As mentioned earlier, the advent of technology has significantly transformed the mall industry. This has given rise to e-commerce where people can shop instantly from their devices at the tap of a button and in the comfort of their home. Mall management teams have acclimatized to this change by offering something that cannot be ignored and can’t get through a screen. Thus, we will see an increase in entertainment-based experiences in shopping centres. For instance, malls are now launching exclusive fun areas such as indoor trampoline parks, etc, which go beyond the usual game arcades.
Food & Drink
Technology has forayed into the food and beverages sector as well. With tech, services such as self-ordering, and providing healthier eating options to redefine traditional fast-food outlets and casual dining will be witnessed. Moreover, malls will aim to create new “experiential dining” options that offer more entertainment for consumers. For instance, gourmet food halls, and “cook your own food” facilities. Not just that, we can expect to see malls incorporating experimental marketing in terms of Live Band Performances in Pubs & Bars, along with aromas and live counters. These cannot be enjoyed via online models, thus incentivizing customers to visit the mall again for a more personal experience.
The rise of omnichannel is sure to continue in 2020, so retailers need to offer a consistent buying experience across channels, both online and off. As the lines between digital and physical shopping experiences blur, retailers need to make sure to be agile and responsive to customer needs with branded touch points at all parts of the buying journey.
Malls need to offer what e-commerce cannot, and that is a sense of belonging, and overall experience. While malls have regularly hosted events to engage with their patrons, we can see a rise in them this year. Festive and non-festive celebrations will play a key role in mall strategy to keep their customers happy and satisfied.
Gone are the days when malls only resorted to traditional print ads to create awareness on events and offers. Malls are collaborating with influencers to create quality content and adopt a more organic approach to how they connect with their customers. The relatability and trust factor is high when an offer of service Is endorsed by an influencer and thus this year we can see more of that.
2020 will be an exciting year for malls and we look forward to seeing what’s in store and how the customers respond to the experiences.
The article has been penned down by Mukesh Kumar, CEO, Infiniti Mall