Clicks feed bricks for Westfield

Searchable MallWestfield’s Searchable Mall has influenced $343 million in sales in its first year.

Of this, $263 million was purchased within a Westfield shopping centre, $64 million purchased from the online stores of retailers viewed on the site, and $16 million purchased in other stores.

While 90 per cent of shoppers purchased the products they intended, half of those also purchased additional items.

The Searchable Mall, launched in November 2013, provides a platform to help shoppers explore their local Westfield shopping centre through a range of features allowing them to find stores, opening hours, deals, events, dining options, cinema times, and purchase products from more than 160 retailers.

Featured retailers include David Jones, Oroton, Cue, Rebel, Dick Smith, Country Road, Napoleon Perdis, General Pants, The Body Shop, Jeanswest, Sportsgirl, Forever New, Bonds, and more.

Scentre Group has revealed research by Monash University’s Australian Centre for Retail Studies (ACRS), reviewing the role of the Searchable Mall in influencing purchases offline and online sales and how the shopper journey has evolved in the digital era.

Dr Dean Sands from the ACRS said, the research suggests that westfield.com.au has a key role in generating down stream sales for retailers’ featured on the website.

“Shoppers are increasingly researching products online prior to making purchase decisions, spending significantly more than store only shoppers.

“Academic studies have shown websites that focus on providing information on products and prices significantly increase revenues for retailers, even without the option to directly purchase online. It is pleasing to see the same applies in a shopping centre context. This provides further evidence of the positive impact that an online presence can have on instore behaviour,” he said.

David Robinson, David Jones group executive, marketing financial services and customer innovation said: “At David Jones our affiliate program is an essential component of our digital marketing strategy. Westfield.com.au is a key affiliate partner and we’ve seen positive traffic results from Searchable Mall since it launched”.

Beyond the Searchable Mall, Scentre Group has launched a series of digital innovations recently to better connect the physical and digital shopper.

The $400m redevelopment of Westfield Garden City, Queensland, and the $475m redevelopment of Westfield Miranda, NSW are the latest centres to offer a more complete suite of digital innovations including ticketless parking in Miranda, free wi-fi, large entertainment projections, interactive digital gaming screens and a range of ambient activations catering to each market such as local art projections, historical content displays, social media content displays, touch screens and interactive installations.

Scentre Group also launched a pilot food app at Westfield Sydney, “Eat on Time” that allows CBD workers to pre-order their lunch and avoid the queues, accumulating more than 5000 downloads in its first 6 months.

2015 will include a suite of digital innovations including:

· Further WiFi rollout

· Rollout of interactive smart screens across the portfolio

· Digital mapping across all centres

· New mobile app rollout and more

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