The latest research by Cushman & Wakefield shows that, among many factors, the greatest impact on the market of shopping malls in SEEMEA region has e-commerce sector (online sales). Opinions on this subject were obtained from the largest and most active owners and property managers representing nearly 1500 of shopping malls, which constitute more than 20% of the market.
68% of the participants recognized e-commerce sector as the most important factor for shopping malls. According to others, it is rather an important element in accelerating change in demographics, economics, sustainable development and globalization. Of course, e-commerce is not the only factor in determining development of shopping malls, but it affects every aspect of the retail market, including value, quality and brand.
According to the research participants, e-commerce has the greatest influence on medium-sized malls, while large and small shopping malls can easier cope with development of Internet commerce, and may even gain from it, especially if they prepare themselves well and create clear image on the market.
The most important priority is to improve appearance of the shopping malls and to enrich catering offer. And subsequently introduction of technological solutions, which are mainly: interactive screens, web page transactions conducted by tenants and free Wi-Fi. The next step should be interactive applications for mobile devices. There are already being introduced various types of technological innovations, such as: beacons, wearables devices, mapping, electronic wallets and solutions based on greater personalization. A catalyst for change in the short term will be especially mobile technology, which will contribute, for example, to create mobile shops and pop-up stores (shops opened for a short time).
Outstanding suburban shopping malls have good prospects to survive in the era of digitalization. However, shopping malls of the future will be more urban objects, closely linked to the public transport network. They will change quickly and flexibly, and will play a key role in integration of local urban communities as a meeting place and organizing various events and shows.