AG Real Estate puts its stakes on ‘Click2Shop,’for phygital retail

Tim Harrup

From well before the pandemic, and accelerated by it (lockdown…) e-shopping had become well established as part of the retail domain. One of the questions which is logically asked is whether this trend will in time take over from physical shopping. There is however, a ‘half-way house’, which is generally referred to as ‘click & collect’. One of the major shopping centre owners in Belgium – AG Real Estate – has just announced an initiative in this area.

AG Real Estate has thus announced the launch of ‘Click2Shop,’ which it says is the first Belgian marketplace platform common to its shopping malls in the city centre of Brussels: City2, The Mint and Anspach. The objective is to provide digital solutions to meet the changing needs of retail customers. Developed in cooperation with Wishibam, the e-shop platform common to the three city-centre shopping malls will complement the physical offer of these shopping centres and enable customers to anticipate their purchases and prepare their visits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The new service offers customers an opportunity to collect multi-shop and multi-centre purchases from a single collection point or have them delivered to an address of their choice. The latter of these two options therefore does not involve ‘collect’ but means the entire transaction can take place without the customer visiting the stores involved. The platform is also designed to simplify day-to-day management for retailers, as stocks are updated automatically. An intuitive ordering process has been put in place for the user and the retailer alike.

AG Real Estate goes on to say that as with the largest e-commerce platforms, the specific features that guarantee their success are included (order notification by e-mail, secure and fast payment, free return within 15 days, etc.). By investing in this new technology, the landlord says it also wishes to show the shops and occupants of its shopping centres that it is a real partner and can provide an adequate response to the optimization of their turnover and to the change of consumer purchasing behaviour, by proposing the digital extension of the shopping centre through this marketplace.

Amaury de Crombrugghe, Chief Investment Officer of AG Real Estate confirms: “Change is always a delicate process. Our mission is to advise and guide our clients on market trends. We are delighted that we can already offer our clients almost 10,000 products through ten different retailers thanks to this new initiative. Other retailers have expressed interest in joining this marketplace in the near future. A charm offensive will enable us to reach our objective of convincing a maximum of retailers to adhere to this shopping method which is an integral part of today's ‘phygital’ commerce.”