Indian Shopping Malls are Embracing the Digital World


Modern-day shopping malls are one-stop destinations housing brands that cater to consumer’s every single need. According to India’ Brand Equity Foundation, India’s retail market is expected to increase by 60 percent to reach $US 1.1 trillion by 2020. In an age when everything is just a click away, retailers are constantly striving to enhance their visitors’ shopping experience. Competition in the retail space makes the need for innovation a must. Technologies like digital signages, interactive signage, wayfinding, LED displays and augmented reality are being looked at as powerful tools to increase footfall and create a ‘WOW’ experience for customers.

A digital display is a dynamic communication medium that captivates the audience and conveys information in a visually appealing manner. The use of different content formats like videos and animation make digital signage far more engaging than a static poster. A study by Arbitron research says that 1/5 of customers who saw digital signage ended up making an unplanned purchase. With customized digital signage software, a retailer can remotely control and push content to his entire signage network on a real–time basis with just one click.  

Space being a major constraint in the retail environment, the digital displays must be modern and sleek, occupying minimal area. Lightweight ultra-slim and transparent LED displays require no support structure and are popularly deployed as window displays or as point–of–sale displays. These vibrant displays enhance the store ambience and are great for showcasing promotional messages. Retailers are now looking for something beyond plain vanilla LCD screens. They want to be experimental and are asking for innovative LED displays in different form factors like cylindrical, oval, concave and cuboid to attract maximum viewership.

Southcity mall in Kolkata is the largest mall in Eastern India with a gross area of 1,555,000 square feet.  Anchoring major brands (like Spencer Retail, Zara, Sephora, Inox Leisure Ltd., Starbucks, etc.) in all categories, it attracts 70,000 to 80,000 people on a weekday and 170,000 to 200,000 people on a weekend.

To increase the footfall and the business, the mall went for a complete makeover last year. One of the aspects included digitizing communication and advertising. Southcity mall achieved this by installing innovative and high–tech digital displays at strategic locations across the mall. Understanding the requirement of Southcity mall, Xtreme Media provided a complete end-to-end digital display solution that blended technology with their modern architecture.

Anyone who enters the mall is welcomed by an eye-catching LED video wall (16.8 feet wide and 8.8 feet high) with a pixel pitch of 4 millimeters. The live events that are conducted in the courtyard are telecasted on this LED video wall for a 360-degree viewing experience.

The presence of digital signage while enhancing the surrounding ambience also reduces the perceived wait time of the customers by 35 percent. Southcity mall identified that visitors are bound to pay higher attention to an advertising message while they are on an escalator. Capitalizing on this opportunity, they asked Xtreme Media to deploy eight LCD video walls on either side of the escalator on each floor.

Mall authorities were looking to replace their static glow boards with high brightness digital signage that offers flexibility in changing the content. 12 vertical kiosks are installed at high vantage points across the mall. These digital kiosks display brand advertisements, offers and telecast updates about live events that take place inside the mall. Apart from enhancing the ambience of the mall, these digital displays also contribute to an additional advertising revenue.

South City Mall LCD Videowall

In the coming years, India is going to witness intelligent shopping malls where the retailers capture consumer insights and create a customized shopping experience. Digital displays will be an integral part of the retail environment. Solutions like Bluetooth-enabled indoor GPS will navigate users to their desired destination and give updates on the ongoing offers. Crowd analytics solutions will capture viewer insights and help brands to personalize their visitors’ shopping experience. Interactive kiosks with augmented reality and virtual reality will help users to virtually interact with the products. In the digital era, technology is going to be the driving force in transforming the retail landscape.

Check out video of the South City Mall Video

About Author

Mr. Sanket Rambhia, the director of Xtreme Media, started this company with a vision to revolutionize Indian out-of-home communications with cutting-edge digital display solutions. After completing his M. S. in Computer Science in the U.S., he worked in Blackrock, New York for three years as a software engineer.  He then returned to India with a vision of starting his own venture. A techie by heart, Rambhia is a passionate entrepreneur by choice. In 2014, he was named as the 1st runner up at the CNBC Awaaz Masterpreneur amongst 1,852 pan India contestants.

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