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Tomorrow’s Shopping, Today


Tomorrow’s Shopping, Today

Rima Chammas, senior marketing director at Majid Al Futtaim sits with Communicate to discuss their latest campaign – a digitized catwalk show which you can watch on Google Street View and how the marriage between Technology and Shopping is going to transform the retail experience.

What led you to use this medium of communication in particular for the campaign? 

We were inspired by the people in our community and the way they choose to express themselves through fashion. City Centre malls have a community-focused identity, and we wanted to communicate that through the people who pass through our doors every day. This campaign allowed us to add a new element to our customer experience and give them greater access to fashion brands that are available in our malls. Since Google Street View is a commonly used application, it brought people into the fashion show experience and placed the latest trends at their fingertips.

Do you have any predictions on how the Shopper experience is going to transform in the coming years?

In the future, shopping will become far more effortless and engaging. Technology will continue to digitize experiences that are usually done in person. Shopping malls will focus on removing disruptive moments and replace them with seamless experiences; as shoppers move through the process of discovering a mall’s offering, navigating the physical environment, purchasing, and even collecting products.

Similarly, more will be expected from a customer relationship perspective. Shopping malls will forge stronger ties with the community around them through experiential events that transcend the products and retailers but still involve them. This is especially important in our region, where malls are so much more than places to shop, but rather considered as hubs for entertainment and leisure. The Google Street View fashion show was one example of the kind of community event that we see becoming commonplace.

Are you targeting more millennials through such innovative activities?

Innovation and exciting customer experiences are at the heart of Majid Al Futtaim’s initiatives as we create a variety of holistic experiences. These experiences appeal to tech-savvy millennials, but our overall aim, particularly with this campaign, was to engage all audiences by offering them new ways of connecting with the shopping malls, the brands and seeing new possibilities in fashion, technology, and art.

Did the partnership with Google Street View help you reach a new target audience?

The substantial reach of Google Street View; being a platform many of us use every day, meant that we would inevitably place the City Centre brand in front of a new audience, in a way that was both intriguing and unexpected. But as well as reaching new audiences, we wanted to communicate to our existing consumers, that City Centre allows you to ‘tell your own story’ and gives you the opportunity for authentic self-expression with its range of fashion options.

How would you describe the success of this partnership in terms of reach? Would you say that it drove new leads?

 The fashion show received more than 46K views to date and continues to attract attention as an engrossing way to explore the latest fashion. Our aim from the very start was not to create leads but to go out into our communities and offer people the opportunity to be part of the fashion show, digitally or in-person.

What are MAFs upcoming plans in innovative marketing and campaigns?

We will continue to explore new ways of incorporating experiences and using innovative platforms within our marketing campaigns, as we did with this campaign. Just as our priority is to offer the latest trends and a compelling tenant mix across each of our malls, the same goes for using innovative and non-traditional marketing tools that engage our customers in new and compelling ways.

 Any plans in the future to focus more on AR & VR within your campaigns?

 Augmented and Virtual reality are hot technologies right now and are effective tools for transporting our customers outside the space they’re in for a few moments. We have been at the forefront of discovering and implementing these tools, along with other innovative technology within our campaigns – ensuring that we are strategically using these platforms to contribute to an enhanced and elevated experience for our customers.

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