Cape Town – Retail was becoming faster and the role of mobile and social commerce was increasing, venture capitalist and former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan told members of the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) on Tuesday.
Sales through mobile phones were expected to increase a lot over the next three years and research showed 79% of South Africans like getting offers via their mobile phones.
At the same time word of mouth was one of the most important marketing tools, while social networks could be turned into shopping platforms, explained Jordaan.
Innovative retailing could stretch from the use of drones, secure locker delivery, robot shopping assistants, hybrid shopping experiences, self-service check outs, online shopping kiosks and pop-up stores.
Third party e-market places could become a big alternative for producers who up to now have been at the mercy of large retailers.
Free WiFi could also be used to draw more people to malls. By obtaining permission to monitor where customers shop in turn, they could easily be informed about special offers, suggested Jordaan.
Location-based beacon technology was another way retailers could enhance the shopping experience. It could also provide retailers with data about shopping habits. Big data was another way to determine location based and personalised marketing.
By paying by mobile phone using technology - like SnapScan and Zapper - the checkout process could be made much faster and long queues avoided, explained Jordaan.
Shopping centre crime had increased by 60% and to Jordaan it was a pity that SA had the most mature CCTV industry in the world - 1.9 million CCTV cameras - and yet 98% of CCTV footage remained unseen. On top of that CCTV operators missed 95% of events after staring at screens for 22 minutes.
That was why automated video analytics could play an important role, Jordaan said. It could improve security at shopping centres by picking up patterns that normally would have gone unnoticed, for instance, the same car circled the mall four times.
Since it was expected that public transport would play an increasingly important role in future, Jordaan said shopping centres needed to be more accessible to public transport, be aware of when public transport arrived and left and made the information easily visible.
Jordaan also believed malls could put solar energy to good use. The cost of solar was decreasing by between 12% and 20% per year, making it already a viable alternative to Eskom tariff increases.
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