Malls go online as shoppers stay home

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Photo from SM FB Page

By: Business World

The pandemic has forced mall operators and retailers to accelerate their digital transformation.

Mall operators are now working closely with retailers to offer personal shopper services, delivery and curbside pick-up for customers who are still wary of going inside the mall.

“We did a lot of innovation, like curbside pickup, call-to-deliver, as part of the (digital) transformation and pivoting… Filipinos, they still like interaction… For those who really cannot come to the mall, we have a number they can call and someone will assist them,” SM Supermalls President Steven Tan said during the BusinessWorld Insights online forum on Jan. 20.

The company in November launched the SM Malls Online app for SM Megamall, SM City North EDSA and SM Mall of Asia (MOA). The app allows customers to buy products from as many of the malls’ stores, and pay just one delivery fee (with some exceptions). Customers can also pick up their purchases in-store.

However, Mr. Tan said digital transformation is not solely about e-commerce.

“The take-up online is still very low. Digital transformation is not just about e-commerce. It’s also innovation… You have to give (the customers) options, delivery, curbside pickup, cashless transactions. This is what we are focusing on right now,” he said.

 

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