Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed EPP, Poland’s biggest retail landlord, has launched a live stream shopping initiative for its malls and their tenants.
Demonstrating agility in ever-changing retail markets, live stream shopping is the latest of several cutting-edge innovations offered by EPP to support its tenants and create exceptional experiences for Polish shoppers in both the physical and digital realms.
Live stream selling uses live video to showcase products and sell to customers who join the event remotely to watch, chat, and buy. EPP has embraced this virtual approach to connect today’s stay-at-home consumers with the physical shopping offered by its mall tenants in response to the evolving retail landscape and shopping habits temporarily affected by the pandemic.
“Polish shoppers prefer to shop in-store, and EPP’s latest innovation provides an exciting opportunity for customers who are currently unable to or cautious about shopping in-store, or who are simply fans of technology, to connect with our tenants. Live streaming offers an online platform where it is possible to share the human connection and joy of discovery that so many people love about their shopping experience. It offers high customer engagement levels and the ability to reasonably replicate authentic in-store and brand experiences to supplement our retail tenants’ brick-and-mortar trade. We are thrilled to provide EPP tenants with a complementary sales channel that supports them in today’s increasingly digitally-enhanced reality and at a challenging time,” says Tomasz Trzósło, CEO of EPP.
The live stream platform essentially gives EPP tenants an additional channel to sell directly and have interesting conversations about their brand and products. It was launched by EPP University – an internal EPP team of experts who help EPP shopping centre tenants to improve their daily operations and sales. As part of this initiative, experts provide tenants’ staff with training and assistance in effective sales, visual merchandising and planning store layouts. During the live streams run by sales support specialists from EPP University, a well-known Polish stylist presents the products and discusses fashion tips and trends. For smaller retailers, securing this kind of backing and talent is beyond their reach, but tenants in EPP’s portfolio now have all the ingredients to host their own successful live online sales shows.
The live stream platform project kicked off this year at EPP’s Galeria Młociny in Warsaw. To begin with, the initiative aims to support and make a positive contribution to tenant businesses in categories such as fashion and clothing that were temporarily restricted during the pandemic in Poland. Effectively, it will be available as a complimentary solution for those unable to visit brick-and-mortar and for whom the soulless conventional e-commerce is not sufficient enough. The first retailers to feature in the series of weekly live stream selling events include Polish fashion brand Anataka, well-known denim brand Lee Cooper, Wojas footwear, or a women fashion store Forever and Regatta - an outdoor equipment brand.
The simplicity of the selling process makes it effortless for customers. Anyone interested in purchasing products can do so via live stream on the mall’s Facebook page. All shoppers need to do is type the number of the style shown and their size in the comments on Facebook. The mall then responds in the comments to confirms the item is reserved. After the broadcast, the mall sends a private message that includes all the transaction details.
While still in its early stages, the innovative solution was welcomed warmly by the market, and it shows potential for further development. Besides generating sales by streaming, customers who watched the stream have come in-store to buy the products they saw during the broadcast. Online streaming with a click-and-collect element also drives footfall in shopping centres and boosts further impulse shopping.
“The remarkable resilience and innovative spirit of the retail industry inspire us at EPP to be creative and embrace cutting-edge concepts and new ways to collaborate with retailers to meet the needs of our customers. We will continue to innovate, adapt and collaborate to reach broader audiences for our tenants and our shopping centres.” says Tomasz Trzósło.