Meeting Millennials Where They Shop: Shaping the Future of Shopping Malls

Shopping malls as we know it are slowly changing right before our very eyes. The rise of digital everything is affecting the traditional shopping mall, which can be a double-edged sword depending who you ask.

Digitization, a movement largely propelled forward by millennials, is changing the very landscape of our shopping experience. This means that real estate developers are going to need to address these changes to cater to the evolving needs of the millennial generation, who are increasingly yearning for a shopping mall that fuses technology with service and experience. This way, a traditional brick and mortar shopping mall now become a place where the millennial can not only shop, but play, learn and eat.

Thus the rise of in-mall experiences including health and wellness sessions, makeup tutorials, cooking lessons, and the like. People no longer view the shopping mall as a retail space, but one that also functions as an entertainment destination and meeting place. Real estate developers need to realize that consumers now need a shopping mall where they can spend a day out instead of one where they can merely buy things.

Related: How Beacons are Modernizing the Mall Space

The rise of digital should not be seen as a threat, in fact. It should be embraced, because it provides lots of opportunity for real estate developers to meet millennials’ needs. Utilizing technology through programs such as Gofindo help retail operations to engage with customers better through personalized and automated marketing campaigns, which can lead to more sales. Both new and old shopping malls who are looking to attract the big-spending millennial crowd can and should think of creative ways to be a place that this market wants to be in.

Here are other ways traditional shopping malls can embrace digitization:

  • Integrate technology in restaurants: Casual and high-end restaurants can assimilate technology into various aspects of the dining experience. From ordering to payment and even loyalty programs, restaurants can better engage with customers and give them a more enjoyable experience by embracing high-tech solutions.

  • Experimentation with hip, niche concepts: The increasing popularity of pop-up shops and revolving storefronts offer the customer with a variety of fun experiences and different ways to shop. Even online players can benefit from these niche concepts, offering a more personal connection as well as engagement when presented via pop-ups or other special in-mall shopping events. Additionally, a curated mix of small shops also creates a sense of novelty to what the mall is currently offering. Kiosks and showrooms motivate customers to go on a treasure hunt for unexpected surprises.

  • Transform anchor areas in the mall into flexible, useful areas: Developing coworking spaces combined with other areas that are reconfigurable for retailers will attract millennials and the start-up crowd, while catering to the increasing population of location-independent professionals.

  • Focus on value-added elements: Including spas, art centers, concerts, farmer’s markets, fitness clubs, and the like give a value-added leisure element to shopping malls which can never be beat by online shopping.

The digital facelift of shopping malls isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It gives retailers a new opportunity to nurture and develop relationships with old and new customers throughout the mall visit experience. Using proprietary apps and programs is an effective way of forging deeper bonds with customers, especially the millennial generation.

Related: How Retailers Can Make the Most of In-store Mobile Engagement Opportunities

While the retail world is always changing, the mall can still play an important role in both suburban and urban societies. Mall operators need to think out of the box when thinking about how their mall can be defined and shaped by digitalization. They are no longer real estate brokers, but a customer-facing supplier of entertainment that is shoppable.

Gofindo can help you build great loyalty programs and connect with customers on mobile platforms. Our app platform can automatically update contact information, send automated promotional offers and deals to customers, automate mobile marketing, and engage customers to keep them interested and provide feedback. So don’t hesitate to contact us today if you have any questions or want to develop an app for your business.

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