Despite the growing number of online marketplaces and big brands selling their products on the internet, shopping malls are still very much alive as there are still a lot of people who prefer to do their shopping in a physical store instead of a virtual one. In order to improve and enhance their customers’ shopping experience, Westfield Corporation, an Australia-based company that operates a number of shopping centers around the globe came up with Westfield Labs.
This entity under the Westfield Corporation umbrella is headquartered in the world’s most recognized innovation and technology hub, San Francisco, California. Westfield Labs is tasked with leveraging digital technology to further improve the shopping experience at any of Westfield’s shopping center around the world. Some of the projects they are working on are the shopping list where shoppers can browse through a virtual version of the shopping center to find what they want to buy and add it to their list before even setting foot in the mall, there’s also the hands-free shopping where customers can make purchases at any of the stores in the mall and have them delivered to their cars or homes, a rewards system where shoppers can earn rewards points every time they visit the mall and make purchases, and an enhanced version of the shopping center map where shoppers can find more information about each store in the center and transfer the directions from the wide screen to their phones so that they would be able to find the stores they want to visit easily.
Each of the projects they are working on is tested in one of the many Westfield Mall locations and is improved through user feedback before they are deployed in all of the shopping centers under Westfield’s management. This innovative way of making shopping easier and more convenient has earned Westfield Labs a slot in FastCompany’s list of the Most Innovative Companies of 2015.