In general these suffer from problems of position, as
they don't create enough value. In the physical economy,
a shopping mall justifies itself by offering a number
of commercial service in a single physical space, which
is sufficiently well situated to attract plenty of customers.
A shop has therefore a better chance of being visited
if it is in a town centre shopping mall than if it is
isolated in a residential area. On the Web, the problem
of capturing a targeted clientele replaces that of physical
regrouping. Thus, in order to attract the targeted clientele,
you must offer him a service. Presenting several dozen
shops is not a service in itself; within three hours,
anyone can create a page with hypertext links towards
commercial sites. There is nevertheless a common denominator
: the visitors. A shopping mall must be an area where
there is plenty of traffic. And traffic develops as soon
as there is good value. Thus, the sites with the most
visitors are the access providers, who have, in fact,
replaced the shopping malls.
Does this mean that there is no hope for online shopping
Not entirely, as long as they concentrate on creating
value for the customer and the seller. Here are a few
key points in the creation of value for a shopping mall
1°) Create an atmosphere of confidence
Customers are mostly cautious when it comes to buying
something from the other side of the world, even by means
of a secure system of payment, whereas the true swindles
are not really publicised. The existence of a shopping
mall, which appears a more stable structure, can significantly
help in inspiring confidence.
2°) Propose a commercial service of exceptional
The idea is to put to together a commercial service which
offers a plus to the user : a choice of local products,
new products, good value products, or complementary products,
to justify its existence to the customer.
3°) Offer free services, or paying services which
are relevant to the targeted market sector
As we saw with the portals and communities, a shopping
mall must offer a range of services and content which
has been carefully chosen to attract Internet users interested
by the goods offered by the sellers who have chosen to
exhibit in this particular gallery.
In practical terms, the concept of the shopping mall
covers a wide range of realities. First of all, there
are the general interest commercial galleries, and galleries
by theme (luxury goods, sport, French luxury goods). Secondly,
the services offered by the different malls vary enormously.
Some of simply shop windows which group together sellers
(this was the case with the first French shopping mall,
the virtual Champs Elysées-http://www.iway.fr/champs-elysees,
opened in 1995). Others offer combined services, such
as GlobeOnline-http://www.globeonline.com which is closely
linked to the payment system Kleline-http://www.kleline.com.
Finally, there are groups such as Telecommerce-http://www.telecommerce.com,
which offer an entire package, comprising a payment system,
a place in a shopping mall, office management services
and integration of part of a logistic chain, as well as
priority indexing in France Telecom's search engines (Voilà-http://www.voila.fr,
Other variations on the shopping mall include the directories
which only list online commercial websites, such as Webmarchand
d'Imaginet-http://www.webmarchand.com for French sites,
or Hotwin-http://www.hotwin.com for European sites.
General interest malls
Annuaire de boutiques en ligne