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April 30, 2011  | by: Sydney Scott

Navigate the Mall with Your Smart Phone

Technology is invading every inch of the world, and now retailers are starting to take notice. Brick-and-mortar stores have been losing customers to online retailers, and they’ve decided to do something about.

Numerous mall developers, including the Westfield Group and Simon Property Group Inc., have developed apps so that shoppers can navigate their way through the mall and even the parking lot. Shoppers will receive rewards, discounts and points from various merchants for visiting shops. They’ll be able to receive promotions and various coupons just for signing up. Currently, the most popular app is Shopkick, developed by Simon Property. Shopkick users get 60 to 150 points  for visiting a participating retailer and can redeem 875 points for a $25 gift certificate. Glimcher, another mall developer, has even come up with an app that helps user find parking spots. However, they have yet to find a contractor and developer for the app.

All this news comes on the heels of another advancement in mall technology. Various malls have placed My Best Fit machines in stores allowing shoppers to step in for a full body scan that then determines their size for various stores. Shoppers receive a print out of their sizes and then can happily shop without having to try anything on. This is somewhat helpful because women’s clothing can be tricky to navigate since sizes vary by store. Still, it’s probably best that you try something on before you purchase it.

Its seems as if malls have finally caught up with the rest of the world, but will it be enough to compete with the online competition?

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