Only Five

The futuristic e-commerce concept where a mall combines online and offline shopping together under one roof is not so futuristic anymore. We’ve already seen Alibaba and Amazon investing billions in foster closer links between online and offline sales because they believes that marrying online and offline commerce will benefit both customers and retailers.

In that scenario, a consumer could browse in-store, purchase the product and arrange for delivery of the product directly to their home. The consumer could then continue shopping, watch a movie or have a meal in the mall without having to carry bulky shopping bags. The retailer, on the other hand, could save on storage space in the store as fulfilment would be done at the backend of the warehouse.

It’s certainly a bold vision, even though online-to-offline is already a trend that is enabling some physical retailers to extend their reach to customers through the internet.