Malls are using tech to win a big share of buyers’ wallets


Starting July, consumers visiting any of the half-a-dozen malls operated by DLFNSE -0.05 % will be able to use free Wi-Fi in its shopping centres. Phoenix Mills, that runs malls in various cities, including Mumbai, is looking for a tech that will help it know the moment a customer steps into any of its malls in a bid to target his wallet with offers and deals by various retailers, while Select Citywalk is planning to hire a chief technology officer to help spearhead the mall’s tech and digital marketing initiatives.

Malls are increasingly using technology to target their customers in a personalised manner and offer conveniences in services to win a portion of their wallets that, over the years, had been shifting to online.

Malls have been talking for years about enhancing their consumer-facing technology, but now some action is happening on that front.

“The process of building management on how we run our mall is already in place,” said Anupam T, vice-president at Oberoi Mall in Mumbai. “Now, we are also focusing on the consumer-oriented IT. We get information on footfalls, car traffic, purchases made through our loyalty programme. So, we want to integrate all this information to generate adequate analysis and business intelligence for the mall.”

Anupam said Oberoi Mall is currently in talks with tech vendors for systems that will help customers navigate to their car parking slots using an app and also a technology where customer will receive products on offer when they walk near particular stores.

On the other hand, malls are increasing their spending on digital advertising that allows them to do more personalised advertising. Phoenix Mills, that operates half a dozen malls in Maharashtra and Chennai, has already increased its digital advertising budget to 15% at present from the earlier 5% of the company’s total advertising budget.

“Marketing is moving towards digital now and tactical marketing is becoming very personalised, and that is the future and obviously you can’t stay away from it,” said Rajendra Kalkar, president, west, at Phoenix Mills, that operates popular malls, including High Street Phoenix and Palladium, in Mumbai. That is the reason DLF Premium Mall that operates shopping centres including Mall of India in Noida, Promenade and DLF Place malls in Delhi, plans to offer free Wi-Fi to its visitors starting next month. Shoppers are just required to register once and they will be able to use free Wi-Fi for two hours a day in any of the DLF’s operated malls.

This article first appeared in

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