Can social commerce save the shopping mall?
Mall360, a new service from the Vancouver company Wishpond, puts local shopping mall inventory online.
Need a new rain jacket? You can click around and figure out if it's in stock or on sale. Find a pair of rain boots that tickle your fancy? Mall360 makes it easy for consumers to share products with Facebook friends or Pinterest followers.
"Mall360 is really about local e-commerce, and giving consumers the ability to search and browse products in their local stores online as easily as they might on a large e-commerce site," Wishpond's Director of Marketing Duncan Blair told Content Ping in an email. "Right now those local shopping environments have no (or at best very limited) online visibility."
While you still have to traipse over to the store to make the purchase, Blair says Mall360 could eventually evolve into a full-fledged e-commerce platform.
While this seems like a great way for shopping malls to become more in tune with social commerce, there's still a lack of robust content merchandising at the product page level. We complained about this lack of content with Wishpond's first Facebook storefronts, and their showcase client Cornwall Centre (yes, they're Canadian) makes it appear to be true for Mall360 as well.
Wishpond already offers realtime inventory and product listings for 19 million products from thousands of retailers. Imagine how powerful that would be if content merchandising was added to the mix.
You can read Wishpond's press release about Mall360 at corp.wishpond.com.