Over the past few years, the retail industry has undergone rapid changes. One of the biggest areas of change has been the way retailers communicate with their customers. Shopping center advertisements and in-store promotions have been supplemented or even replaced with Internet marketing — and with good reason. One of the most popular ways shoppers communicate now is through social networking and mobile technology. Shopping centers and retailers are a step behind if they haven't adapted to this paradigm shift.
Consumers are habitually engaged in finding ways to save time through their mobile phones. They are also more influenced today by the opinions of their friends on their personal social networks than traditional advertisements in centers. Equally crucial to the level of engagement shoppers experience during their mall trips are digital screens that generate a conversation with customers. For shopping center management, these trends are both a wake-up call and an opportunity to modify strategy.
Bridging the gap between the physical world of brick-and-mortar retail stores and the virtual world of e-commerce and social networks, Pickn'Tell (www.pickntell.com) is a company that leverages these trends for fashion retailers and shopping centers. Through digital consumer products, the company is able to create a seamless shopping experience for consumers to enjoy in stores, at home or on-the-go. Pickn'Tell engages consumers with in-store (or in mall public areas) digital mirrors and tablets embedded with cameras that are easily operated through the Pickn'Tell fashion mobile application. The use of both allows shoppers to share and receive feedback on photos or videos of themselves with friends back at home, creating a truly social (and even futuristic) experience. The Pickn'Tell mirrors are easy to install in retail stores or public areas of the mall for interaction. Then, after consumers leave the mall, they can continue the shopping experience and stay connected through the application.
The Pickn'Tell mobile application displays the virtual storefronts of various brands that include mobile catalogs, store location information and the latest events and deals. Mall owners can also include with the app: a mobile loyalty club, events and coupons. Consumers can enjoy the ability to share purchases with friends, discover trending items on the fashion community, receive instant feedback on purchasing decisions, discover new promotions, and manage and share their virtual closet or wish list.
Pickn'Tell also provides solutions for malls to attract, converse with, and understand the behavior of consumers. This is all done through data collected on the Pickn'Tell application. Through patented technology, Pickn'Tell then creates a direct marketing channel, delivering push campaigns and notifications that align offers such as time-limited coupons, events, and e-gift cards with customer history and preferences helping to drive traffic back into malls and stores. The company's technology is flexible, robust, and cloud-based, enabling shopping centers to provide an enhanced mall loyalty club. In the future, the company will include mall maps and way-finding, stores by categories, as well as parking reminders.
Mall management has opportunities to be at the forefront of the mobile market, ahead of where most tenants are, while attracting and retaining lessees and customers in today's evolving retail market.
— Dalit Braun is the co-founder of Pickn'Tell.