In the era of the digital revolution where bricks-and-mortar shopping is affected by e-commerce and new purchase habits from millennials and Generation X. Bruno Zysman, founder and CEO, GoToMalls.com, shares with Muneerah Bee on how the platform is bringing shoppers back to malls and stores.
The retail industry is constantly reinventing itself to stay competitive to drive customers to their stores. One way to achieve this is to focus on providing customer experience and timely information through a convenient channel. Developed by Singapore-based tech firm Dominopos and founded in July 2016, online-to-offline (O2O) platform GoToMalls aims to do that by connecting online shoppers with offline malls’ stores.
Its geo-located and profile-based search engine of malls and stores helps the retail industry to stay competitive and to bring shoppers back to their stores, according to Bruno Zysman, founder and CEO, GoToMalls.com. “In addition to being a nationwide directory for malls, stores, events and deals, GoToMalls offers features such as rating and review, click-and-collect redemption for deals, notifications for exclusive credit cards discounts, as well as a chatbot to help shoppers find products at the nearest store instantly,” he explained.
The GoToMalls blog also provides shoppers with lifestyle articles about the latest trends.
The platform made its first foray into Indonesia and recently entered the Singapore market. “As at end of last year, GoToMalls had 410 malls, 28,000 stores and 28 million visitors. We listed 15,000 promotions and 5,200 events, seen 40 million times,” Zysman shared. He added that shoe retailer Everbest Group has been working closely with GoToMalls for almost two years. “We are assisting them to grow their sales, especially in emerging cities in Indonesia through targeting the right online audience to shop at their offline stores. Thousands of sales were recorded, specifically in cities such as Balikpapan and Manado, since Everbest started using GoToMalls’ digital coupon.”
The app currently lists 115 malls and 9,000 stores in Singapore. Zysman noted that retail in the city-state is also going through a digital transformation. “By deploying GoToMalls in Singapore, we expect to help the retail industry get shoppers back to their shelves and offer them our stunning features which have been successful in Indonesia while promising new features enhanced by technology such as chatbot, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) which will enlarge the sales scope approach and add new user experiences in the shopping journey.”
Sharing his thoughts on future technology innovations for retail and the customer experience in South-east Asia, Zysman opined that the region is definitely innovating in the retail space. “There are a lot of start-ups coming up with new ideas, but implementations rarely go over the first trials of few stores because of the difficulties to scale up. Beside cashless payment and other fintech innovation, which reduce the checkout time and give a fast and convenient way for shoppers to pay, other innovations such as shopper’s face recognition, augmented reality (AR) and AI are improving the in-store user’s experience.”
He added that the opening of Alibaba bricks-and-mortar shopping mall in Hangzhou, China shows how the next generation of omni-channel retailing transformation could soon drive the South-east Asian retail industry to a more competitive and dynamic space.