Mall apps launched to improve customer shopping experience

Shopping mall owners are attempting implement the use of advanced smartphone apps in an effort to lure customers away from web-based retailers and back to physical locations, notes The Wall Street Journal.

Shopping mall owners are attempting to implement the use of advanced smartphone apps in an effort to lure customers away from web-based retailers and back to physical locations, notes The Wall Street Journal.

David Simon, property chairman and CEO of Simon Property Group Inc., hopes to implement an innovative approach to the customer experience at his malls with apps such as a deal-of-the-day system similar to Groupon.

Simon's current app, released in October, displays promotions from stores in its malls, which act as a way increase product knowledge. It also publicizes events planned at its properties and provides a parking notification tool.

USA Today adds that Simon is currently in the process of a 45-day trial run with the application SCVNGR. The software directs consumers to certain stores, and advises them to take pictures to prove they were there - with prizes such as sunglasses or mall gift certificates for those who participate. Earning prizes for simply visiting a store could encourage customer satisfaction and loyalty to that retailer.

Such mobile apps may also be used to provide insight about consumers' spending habits - namely their preferences for online- over location-based shopping.