But even without launching a dedicated online shopping platform, malls can leverage existing data on consumers’ online behaviors to better understand visitors’ shopping habits and select tenants accordingly. This will assist in considering the size and number of stores that will meet customers’ needs, eliminating poorer-performing stores, and focusing on flagship, showroom, virtual-reality, and pop-up experiences.
Additionally, consumer search data can be broken down by geography, giving mall operators a sense of the retail trends that are likely to be popular with consumers in their specific region. There tends to be a significant correlation between mall visitors’ web searches and the performances of different mall tenants. The ongoing recognition of these linkages will continue to boost the capacity of malls and their tenants to maximize site selection processes and location performance. Understanding how consumers behave online can also help mall tenants optimize the product mix for each space.
Consumers will no longer come in to browse blindly; they're increasingly looking for a digitized experience both online and off. To survive and thrive in the modern era, landlords and retailers need to focus on reinvigorating the shopping environment by working diligently to keep up with relevant online trends, seasonality, and guest experience expounded by ever-changing data. Ultimately, those who evolve with digitally-enabled innovations will see long-term success and increased foot traffic of consumers looking to enjoy the various features of the mall of the future.
Brett Rose is the founder and CEO of United National Consumer Suppliers (UNCS), an international wholesale distribution company providing products to Macy’s, Ross Stores, TJX Companies, Dollar Tree, Amazon resellers, and many more. The company sources over 50 different product categories for over 120,000 retailers and e-tailers in 34 countries. Outside of the office, Rose dedicates his time to philanthropic causes within his local community. He has been a member of the board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida and Joe Di Maggio Children’s Hospital & Memorial Health Foundation.