How innovation is radically changing shopping mall industry

innovation in shopping mall

Everything in terms of innovation in shopping malls is changing and developing fast.

The revelation of the retail industry (finally) will be behind us

This means that stores will still exist, and the focus will be on stores in shopping centers. However, stores in shopping malls will be more like customer experience centers. Despite the retail inspiration, designers will still strive for design style, which will push offline sales as well as online sales.

Design focused on sensory experience

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Sensory experience will be the key. With the development of digitization, the tactile experience will become more and more important, because the store space will become a place where all our senses will be used to experience products with the help of multi-sensor technology.

Browsing vs buying

For millenials and Gen Z shopping is an act of fun, a recreational activity in which the transaction has become completely secondary. So, as the new generations has a clear difference between shopping and buying, what brings customers back to the shopping center? Landlords and retailers must help to ensure that customers who step into the store spend more time for the experience, through improved product displays, personalized customer service and ultimately become more loyal to the retailer. Landlords will have to provide customers with more incentives to visit a shopping center and stay longer.

Design flexibility

The days of static storage are gone. In the future, the retail space must have more focus, inspiration, and provide all consumers with multiple sensory experiences. In order to provide customers with more experience, retailers must establish a connection between analog experience and tactile experience, and combine it with data collection, information and logistical support digitization.

The shopping center of the future: four different paths

The guide to transforming a shopping mall into a «consumer engagement spaces» (CES) is based upon the experience economy. Future CES will include retail stores. These retail stores usually adopt smaller formats, are less dependent on inventory, and will be more dedicated to creating personalized brand experiences through virtual reality, augmented reality or mixed reality where consumers can customize their unique shopping and product experience here.

Pop-up stores will also be very important for the new CES, because they can bring unexpected experiences for guests, and provide an important testing platform for new retail concepts and brands.

We believe that the future CES will have three different models:

a) Innovation Center

The innovation center will be powered by technology so that each store and the center itself collects real-time data to satisfy shoppers. We see that the Innovation Center has hired anthropologists, cultural psychologists, and ethnographic experts to transform the large amount of consumer data collected into information that shopping malls and tenant partners can use to enhance and develop the shopping experience. The innovation center combines high technology to create a future customer interaction space.

b) Destination Center

Stores will play a more important role and greatly enhance the experience, including restaurants, theaters and event spaces, museum exhibitions, theme parks and other attractions, indoor ice skating and ski resorts, and water park.

c) Value Center

Specialized in related retail businesses and services to reflect the values and preferences of the surrounding communities. The concept could be health and wellness, local food, artisans and manufacturers, or even reasons such as animal rights or ethnic identity.

d) Retail Center

The evolution of retail centers will have elements of value centers, as they will focus on satisfying consumers in specific life stages or lifestyles with common needs and interests, but will be supported by residential housing, making CES more than just a place to visit , but a place to live. For mature baby boomers, people who want to scale down and get a variety of convenient services and young professionals who are provided to CES, providing retail stores, restaurants and theaters, work and entertainment venues, gyms and spas.

Do you know about all this future changes? Do you think that the industry is ready for this?

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