Following the latest ICSC European Conference coming to an end, and a number of conferences related to the sector to follow such as SIEC this June, everyone in the industry is looking to understand the next trends and innovations in retail, and in particular, Shopping Centers.
But, what about the past?
I decided to look at the last 5 years and make a list of the most dramatic and creative innovations that have been brought into shopping centres that have significantly impacted our shopping experience (or would do it very soon!).
- Phone charging stations: This one seems obvious, however, how many of you have decided to rush back home in the middle of a nice afternoon in your favourite shopping centre after your iPhone ran out of battery? We are so dependent on our smartphones; it seems weird not being able to document the whole thing on Snapchat! Phone charging stations are a real life-saver for visitors but also for shop-keepers because a customer with a fully charged battery is a happy customer that stays longer! Not only this, it allows visitors to engage with centres and tenants on social media – building the center’s brand awareness!
Find it at Forum des Halles in Paris!
- Amazon Lockers: These are truly a great invention! Pioneered in France by Unibail-Rodamco and the supermarket chain Leclerc, the lockers are a very useful tool to get your Amazon purchase delivered straight to your closest shopping centre. And while your there, why not pop-in to your favourite clothing shop or grab a snack with your friends at the food court?
Find the closest to you here
- Automatic Self-Service Cloakroom: This, in my opinion, is an amazing idea and is a pretty new one! Brought to us by the French start-up; The Keepers, this innovative service provides an automated system for shopping centre customers to check-in their coats or jackets independently. Moreover, it’s a connected service, you can check if your belongings are safe on your mobile device. And…. As they say on the website: “MOST IMPORTANTLY: LEAVING YOUR COAT IN THE DRESSING ROOM IS FREE!”
Find it here
- In-Store Media: Digital screens that project advertisement of products and brands – pretty simple right? However, this technology that has entered retail not long ago plays on some pretty important factors such as strategic positioning within the Shopping Centre; the timing and targeted content. Already in use by some of the big names in the sector, such as Mercialys and Immochan, this simple tool has really given a boost to sales of advertised products: reported +19% for Garnier.
Find it here and in the shopping centre Espace Fenouillet in Toulouse
- Mobile Apps: These days we have mobile apps for everything; transport, food, social connection, work…. Well, mobile apps are pretty important for shopping too! Speaking with experts in the industry, the creation and implementation of such tools have been a main priority for many of them. A dedicated mobile app in your closest shopping center can really help you navigate the venue, keep you update with the latest offers (tailored to your taste and preferences) and notify you with the latest news and events. Such gadget may seem pretty straight forward but as we know from our clients and candidates, it can increase sales by double-digit percentages!
Find out more about the impact of digitalisation here