Omnichannel commerce may be the current hot trend for retail, but it’s not enough to keep retailers and malls competitive in the age of Amazon & Alibaba.
For brick-and-mortar retail to compete and grab the market share back from these traditional ecommerce marketplaces, the only way is to evolve beyond omnichannel to cross-pollinated and enhance the experience of high-maintenance users.
At the Tech Runway of ICSC RECon Asia 2019, Mavatar CEO Susan Akbarpour discussed how malls and retailers can utilize the mCart PaaS to realize a cross-pollinated digital platform that successfully serves the needs of a broad number of adjacent verticals influencing the path to purchase.
Her presentation covered how mCart can truly close the gap between online and offline shopping, sales and advertising where the convergence of media, retail, technology and service will wow shoppers with a unified experience Amazon and other online marketplaces could never offer!
The three day ICSC Asia-Pacific event featured some of the most innovative commercial real estates and retail projects and uncovered the emerging trends in real estate and retail technologies with live demonstrations and hands-on access to products.
During her visit and official ICSC tours, Susan went to to some of the world’s most advanced shopping centers, such as the Jewel at the Changi Airport and the Marina cBay Sands complexes among others, as well as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). Susan was deeply impressed by Singapore’s futuristic and sustainable design, but noticed that there is still room for greater digital transformation in commerce—and how mCart can help realize this vision for Singapore and its neighbors in the Asia-Pacific.
The Modern Retail Apocalypse or Renaissance?
As Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC, alluded to in his opening remarks, the “retail apocalypse” has been overhyped. Rather, retail is undergoing a renaissance of radical digital transformation.
Consumer expectations have adjusted, led by millenials and Gen Z, who are less brand oriented, have the constant expectation of instant gratification, and aren’t used hearing no.
This means retailers and malls have to adapt to the modern consumer’s digital tastes and needs. We can’t expect customers to visit 100 stores in three malls or visiting 100 of websites and downloading 50 apps to buy an outfit that she saw in a movie. That process must be streamlined, bring people from content to transaction in one place.
This challenge of digital transformation has been felt particularly acutely by malls, who by their very nature are grounded in the physical world. This is why 80% of malls are concerned about the shift from physical shopping to online stores.
To meet the modern consumer’s demands, malls and retailers have to bridge the online and offline gap while keeping the following objectives in mind:
- Adjusting to millennial shopping behavior
- Direct to consumers models while sustaining the tenants
- Increasing traffic to the mall
- Shopper retention & engagement
- Tapping into new source of revenue
Crossing Over to Cross-Pollinated Commerce
In order to meet these objectives and offer the unified experience that modern shoppers mandate, malls and their retailers need a single integration platform as a service” (IPaaS). An IPaaS connects tens to hundreds of players, touchpoints, concepts, point solutions and business models in a centralized location where different entities come together to create and distribute values.
With a comprehensive integration layer like an IPaaS, we can move beyond the current generation of omnichannel retail to cross-pollinated commerce, in which all relevant parties share data and work together for their mutual benefit, ensuring consumers a better experience throughout the entire shopping journey.
If retailers and malls could work together with media, technology and service companies to share their data, create and distribute value for this modem cross-pollinated supply chain, they could create a more unified retail experience for consumers and streamline the 2st-century path to purchase, removing friction at every point.
With cross-pollinated commerce, malls would enter the ecommerce space, retailers would better understand their customers and advertisers would have a better idea of what’s actually driving sales. Even influencers (micro, macro and mega) —the main driver of experiential shopping—could better track their content’s influence to sales dollars and be fairly compensated for it. Such a IPaaS would allow these parties to collaborate in ways never before possible and create entirely new business models.
So how can we create cross-pollinated commerce to move malls and retailers beyond omnichannel?
Solution: The mCart Cross-Pollinated Marketplace and Influencer Marketing Platform
Find out about how and why mCart is creating cross-pollinated commerce here, initiated by the startup Mavatar that—according the legendary VC Skyler Fernadez in his keynote at ICSC— meets all the characteristics of a unicorn!
- Massive markets
- Disruptive technology and business model
- Sustainable competitive advantage
- A vision greater than itself
- A team that can execute that vision
mCart is a cross-pollinated platform that streamlines the entire path to purchase in one integration layer. Malls can license their own mCart platform and onboard the inventories of all their retailers and collaborate with social and traditional media to create a digital mirror of the mall itself which is promoted by an integrated salesforce.
Shoppers can get directed by shop-able content all around them to malls or browse the mall’s integrated marketplace and influence marketing platform for products. They carry their mCart next-gen shopping cart, which is the mall’s universal and consumer-centric shopping cart, between offline and online in different touch points on the web, mobile, and in-person kiosk.
Shoppers then choose to buy online (in an innovative patent-protected hybrid checkout), pick up in person from partner retailers, or communicate with salespeople to hold and try products out.
For promoting, facilitating and shortening the sales process on the mCart platform, malls can aggregate substantial affiliate sales commission from their partner retailers using mCart’s transparent blockchain-powered affiliate sales system. The mCart platform also lets malls distribute affiliate sales commission between themselves and influencers.
Additionally, mCart makes it easy to offer rewards to shoppers for being an integrated part of this journey for sharing mCarts, coupons, signing up, gain followership and many more activities in this fully gamified system.
Blockchain is already empowering powerful industries like advertising, law, finance, real estate, brick and mortar retail where trust has been always a major barrier. Blockchain removes the trust barrier by letting the relevant parties collaborate on trustless platforms using smart contracts. The terms between parties are tracked and executed automatically on a public ledger that can be freely audited by all parties.
In mCart ecosystem, retail partners and marketplace operators use their personal dashboards to enter smart contracts with each other. In a back and forth process, they agree on affiliate sales commission, set the influencers’ commission, shopper’s rewards, and fees for all other partners and touch points involved in a single transaction. Everything is visible on a public ledger hosted on the Ethereum network. This blockchain system allows participants to create a pool of value for everyone to tap into with minimal back-office cost, no costly and opaque middlemen, and zero overrated metrics like CPC, CTR, and CPM.
Disrupting the Notion of Destinations
The modern consumer doesn’t want to be pushed ads and isn’t likely to engage with brands’s traditional marketing efforts. We’re long removed from the up-to 40% banner ad click-through rates of the early days of the internet—it’s estimated that today click-through rates are as low as .05%!
mCart lets its marketplace operators sign up featured influencers who act as the platform’s integrated sales force and promote offline/online inventories leveraging their content, social base or other assets. And Influencers are only paid on commission, meaning no fat fees spent on channels that aren’t delivering. Influencers use mCart’s built in shop-able content publishing platform to share curated collections of products from a marketplace along with the shop-able content they’re already producing. And their followers see this content on their social media feeds, blogs, video, print and wherever else they’re consuming content.
For every sale coming in through this content, influencers receive a 1-20% affiliate sales commission from the retailer while the mall marketplace operator collects commission as well!
And mCart has partnered with Sharp Electronics to create the Shop-able Wall, a kiosk version of the mCart platform that can be deployed across retail centers. The Shop-able Wall lets consumers start their journey at the mall, and then continue on their personal devices to shop at their leisure.
mCart Creates Cross-Pollinated Commerce
With mCart, every step on the path to purchase is being tracked monitored and monetized. All relevant parties driving consumers to purchase–from the mall marketplace operator, to retailers and influencers are fairly compensated for their role in the customer’s purchase. And since all this actively occurs within the mCart ecosystem, the data is centralized and actionable.
To realize this lofty vision, mCart has been built on top of over 300 APIs, and has 5 dashboards, tool sets, analytics, and AI-powered CRM and many more systems for the mall admin, shoppers, influencers, retailers and their sales teams.
We’ve partnered and collaborated with some of the biggest names in ecommerce to create the platform, such as IBM, Walmart and Sharp. And as of October 2019, we are a Google Cloud Partner and you can license your own mCart PaaS on the Google Cloud Platform.
Ready to revolutionize your mall with cross-pollinated commerce?