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The Future Of The Shopping Mall

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By Author: Rakesh Singh
Total Articles: 5
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Malls of today are places of commercial establishments where consumers can not only shop and dine with family but also be inspired, made aware and educated. With the Internet Of Things (IoT) finding itself into our lives to embed 'smart living', a smart shopping mall does not seem that distant of an idea. And it wouldn't be wrong to say that the future of the shopping mall is going to be smart.

Since the advent of the concept of shopping malls in Mumbai, the shopping centres and malls have evolved from a cluster of stores to experience centres to giant sprawling complexes featuring restaurants, gaming centres, and cinemas vying for the top spot of the biggest mall in Mumbai or wherever they are located.

Factors like the rise in digitisation, disposable income, increasing lifestyle changes have given way to a new breed of digital consumers that value convenience, whether staying in metros or Tier 2 cities. These new consumers are so apt with technology that it acts as an everyday interface for them. And to keep up with the ever so demanding digital consumers, shopping malls too, are now opening up to emerging and innovative tech solutions. These not only include experience and convenience for the customers but also solutions comprising of efficient store management, monitoring purchases, inventory tracking etc. which aims to improve logistics and prevent losses.

So how does the end consumer benefit in the mall of the future? Well, as reiterated, consumers will experience convenience along with customisation and the malls stand to gain from vast amounts of customer data along with their movements and purchases at the malls improving visibility and experience. Such data helps the mall and brand stores to prompt customers with tempting offers.

The malls of the future will implement geofence technology that maps out a virtual perimeter of the real locations. Marketers can harness the power of geo-fencing to grab the attention of the consumers in the mall to cut through the clutter in a competitive location. Beacon Technology is another breakthrough wherein the information can be transmitted via a beacon to smart devices making it easier for consumers to interact with stores at the mall. Building applications that enable customers with simple solutions, connecting the physical and digital ecospheres is something that we are already witnessing in process. Such applications help brands target customers and put up a virtual store to attract more consumers to the brand.

From smart stores that think for the store managers, geo-targeted SMS, smart shelves equipped with RFID readers, smart signages that personalise the in-store experience to self-servicing automated kiosks; the mall of the future will have many such features and more.

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