Search engine smooths your mall experience

Rashmi Aimiuwu talks about how research is increasingly important for shoppers and what Southcentre Mall has done to help

Rashmi Aimiuwu is marketing director at Southcentre Mall.

Rashmi Aimiuwu Southcentre Mall calgary
Rashmi Aimiuwu

What the new e-commerce tool you’ve introduced for shoppers?

Aimiuwu: Search. Find. ShopNOW is an online platform developed by Oxford Properties. It has been recently introduced at some of Canada’s most successful shopping centres – including Calgary’s Southcentre Mall.

Search. Find. ShopNOW brings convenience to customers by making it possible to explore product offerings at select mall retailers before even leaving the house. Shoppers can see what products are available at their favourite retailers and view a wide range of products without having to go from store to store to physically search for a specific item.

If someone wants to find a little black dress at Southcentre, our platform will show them which of our stores carry black dresses to help them streamline their visit.

Search. Find. ShopNOW includes thousands of consumer products from a range of more than 70 retailers, including SoftMoc, Aldo, H&M, Lululemon, Best Buy, The Body Shop, RW & Co, Below the Belt, Roots and more.

 Why has it been introduced?

Aimiuwu: Innovation is at the heart of Oxford Properties’ retail platform and we are constantly examining how we can both improve the customer experience and drive sales for our retailers. The Search. Find. ShopNOW platform is a tool that puts shopping centres into the ‘search’ phase of the retail journey for the first time.

Shoppers are now being presented with a unified experience across all of Southcentre’s retail channels and consumer touch-points.

Retailers, too, are benefiting from this fully-integrated approach to commerce, which has created an additional online revenue stream for them and allows them to make contact with customers who might not otherwise be aware of their product offerings.

How does it work?

Aimiuwu: Shoppers can visit the Southcentre website and browse through products offered by participating retailers in one simple search. Search. Find. ShopNOW will showcase all products that fit within their desired search parameters, allow them to contact stores directly to check availability, and provide the opportunity to either purchase an item directly from a brand’s online site or visit the store when in-centre to make their purchase.

Anyone browsing online can take advantage of a number of specific search functions that will allow them to narrow their search and find exactly what they’re looking for. Customer searches on the platform can easily be customized and filtered by retailer, price point, product type, brand, colour and more.

Shoppers are then able to see what products are available from their favourite retailers ranging from fashion and beauty, to technology and homewares, and beyond.

All the products that can be found through Search. Find. ShopNow will also appear in other online search engines and promote what’s available at the nearest retail centre.

What demographic of shoppers do you think this will appeal to?

Aimiuwu: Search. Find. ShopNOW has been created to appeal to all shopper demographics, as users can view a wide variety of products from a wide range of retailers. Today, shoppers from every demographic spend time researching products online before making purchases in-store or online.

Search. Find. ShopNOW puts Oxford Properties’ retail centres, like Southcentre Mall, into the research phase of the shopping experience for people at every age and stage of life.

What are you hoping to achieve with the introduction of this new tool?

Aimiuwu: Oxford Properties, along with Southcentre Mall, is leading the way towards the future of retail with the introduction of the trailblazing e-commerce tool for shoppers. For the first time in Canada, shopping centres, not just a store or brand, can now transition to and compete in the omnichannel retail space – and with omnichannel customers making up 73 per cent of consumers, there couldn’t be a better time for us to lean in to this growing market trend.

Search. Find. ShopNOW provides shoppers with an omnichannel retail experience, boosting their ability to seamlessly search and shop anytime, anywhere.

Research is a critical part of the shopping experience and Search. Find. ShopNOW allows shopping centres and retailers to intercept, engage with and assist customers in an entirely new way. Search. Find. ShopNOW will play an important role in our future success and provide Southcentre with a competitive edge when it comes to the online marketplace.

Interviewed by Mario Toneguzzi, a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary.

© Calgary’s Business

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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