In 2018, South Africa had the 6th most shopping malls in the world. The top three countries in terms of shopping centre supply – the US, China & Canada – contribute a combined 77% to the overall figure. There is no denying that even though we won’t be left with masses of abandoned retail spaces and malls, a shift to an omni-channel approach will be the distinguishing factor for their survival.
‘Omni-channel’ refers to a “multichannel form of brand delivery where all the parts of a brand jigsaw are not just complementary but have been considered holistically at the outset, so that they are connected and form a cohesive whole”.
It is the place where marketing for bricks-and-mortar and e-commerce experiences intersect and packaging still has a massive part to play to entice the traditional as well as the new digital customer.“The most successful brands,” argues Design Week’s Angus Montgomery, “particularly in fast moving consumer goods, will still be those that use their packs as the key pillars of their branding.” The brands are getting it right by providing spaces where they connect with customers who in turn can experience products in-store, even if they then order online. Others set the store up as the collection point for orders placed online and then wow clients with in-store experiences and customer service. Shopping malls are also joining the party by creating lifestyle experiences for customers apart from just shopping – another reason why they won’t soon die out. Either way, is your packaging ready to convert online and in-store?