Will localized e-commerce work for malls? – RetailWire


Dec 20 2021

Mall of America announced last week the start from its first e-commerce website where customers can purchase local inventory from various retailers located in the mall.

Browsers go to shop.mallofamerica.com and browse “thousands of items in stock from your favorite stores at The Mall of America, ”according to MOA microsite store. Buyers use a single checkout and pick up their purchases at a designated location near a mall entrance. Home delivery is available to customers within 15 miles of the Bloomington, MN Mall.

“To jump line. Buy online, ”says Mall of America marketing copy on the MOA microsite store. “Be fully prepared for the holidays, with gifts in hand and peace on earth. MOA has made it even easier to purchase our offers in-store, totally online! No stock shortage or shipping delay.

To date, only 70 of the more than 520 Mall of America stores participate in the program. Beyond the logistics of in-store pickup or in-store shipping, one of the challenges is to continually update in-store inventories on the website in real time.

Only a few other shopping centers offer localized online sales.

In September 2020, centenary introduced his “Buy now!” »E-commerce platform in seven US markets. In June 2021, the boutiques of Bal Harbor in Florida spear an online marketplace for its high-end tenants.

Centennial said online sites can benefit mall traffic because customers can plan their visits in person in advance.

A shopping mall’s online site can also promote discovery in addition to in-store browsing. On the Shop MOA site, shoppers can filter searches by newer items, subcategories, store, color, sizes, price, and occasion. Mall of America VP of Marketing Grant Buntje said Twin Cities Affairs, “We think about the power of shopping over buying. “

The Bal Harbor Shops online site is designed to reach customers who are out of town or who cannot make it to the mall. However, the site’s curated selections and comprehensive style guides and other content are ultimately designed to encourage in-person visits.

Matthew Whitman Lazenby, President and CEO of Whitman Family Development, owner of Bal Harbor Shops, said WWD, “We’re not trying to compete with Farfetch or Mytheresa. It is very centered on the shops of Bal Harbor.

Discussion Questions: What do you think of the opportunity as well as the challenges of localized online marketplaces for shopping malls? Should tenants welcome or fear online selling linked to localized assortments?

Braintrust

“It’s time for shopping center owners to realize the need to partner with their tenants, not just rent them space.

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