Virtual Malls revisited?

November 27, 2009

I know we’ve seen these before, but the latest version seems more interesting; although having said that despite the media coverage it doesn’t actually appear to be live just yet – maybe a case of the PR release going out a little too soon.

Going under the name NearLondon, a new web site will offer a virtual shopping trip around central London, apparently consisting of Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street in a slimmed down SecondLife style.

It appears that a number of major retailers have signed up to NearLondon already, which will allow browsing ahead of any real visits to London, as well as actual purchases to be made online. Interestingly, there is some talk in the media of replacing the traiditonal shop layout with more interesting interfaces: catwalks for fashion and stadiums for sports.

The rise and rise of online shopping

November 18, 2009

Yet again we see a rise in online shopping; this time for clothes. This puts traditional shopping centres in a difficult situation: not only do shopping centres have to compete with online retailers with much lower overheads, but there is the added complication over whether to link from their websites to their retailers’ websites, potentially driving sales traffic away from their centre.

Most centres now do link away from their site. The rationale being that customers will use the internet to find an item they think they like, but come in to the store to look at it in more detail and maybe try it on and buy it. Clothing was seen as good example of this, but as we can see, growth in this particular area has been above all expectations.

From our own recent research, we know that 30% of Christmas Shopping will be done on the Internet this year, with a quarter of shoppers doing more shopping online this year than last.