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Shopping malls

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 malls ?

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 quality
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-, opened in 1995). Others offer combined services, such as GlobeOnline- which is closely linked to the payment system Kleline- Finally, there are groups such as Telecommerce-, 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-,

Other variations on the shopping mall include the directories which only list online commercial websites, such as Webmarchand d'Imaginet- for French sites, or Hotwin- for European sites.

General interest malls
Specialist malls
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If you enjoyed this site, we obviously share values: we have written it in 1999 !

We haven't updated it online as the vision still is more and more relevant: the more the internet matures, the closer it gets to our vision.

We still believe in innovation, creativity, rigour and results control.

Contact us if you need webmarketing services:

Raphael Richard, founder

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