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Credit: AG Real Estate

Click2Shop: digital innovation in City2, The Mint and Anspach shopping centres in Belgium

AG Real Estate is innovating by developing “Click2Shop”, the first Belgian marketplace platform shared by its shopping centres in central Brussels.

Market developments towards “omni-channel” retail and the current health situation mandating specific measures in stores have prompted AG Real Estate to seek innovative solutions to meet the needs of its occupants and their consumers.

The retail teams at AG Real Estate have enlisted the support of Wishibam to introduce, over the coming months, an e-shop common to the three downtown shopping centres – City2, The Mint and Anspach. The “Click2Shop” platform will supplement the physical offering of those shopping centres and will allow customers to pre-order their purchases and prepare their shopping trips 24/ 7 and 7 days a week.

This flexible new service will enable customers to collect multi-store and multi-centre purchases from a single collection point or have them delivered to an address of their choice.

Solutions Provider and Business Generator

By investing in this new technology, AG Real Estate aims to show its occupants that it is a true partner and can provide an appropriate response to changes in consumer purchasing behaviour.

Amaury de Crombrugghe, Chief Investment Officer of AG Real Estate, explains: “We are aware of the growing share of e-commerce in total consumer spending, and had to restructure our offering to strengthen the position of our retailers on the market, and indirectly our own. We are convinced that digital is a complementary response to the human face-to-face service offered in stores”.

This service offers considerable advantages for merchants, who can raise their profile in the virtual domain via a web presence that is new or complements their own. In the digital age, this modern and innovative initiative is undoubtedly an opportunity to attract new customers and increase the average checkout value at times outside a shopping centre’s normal opening hours.

As a long-term partner, AG Real Estate has opted to offer this tailor-made solution free of charge to its occupants. It will not charge any subscription or user costs for this support process during the first year. From the second year of operation, retailers will be charged a commission (below the online benchmark) in order to earn a return on investment.

Optimised operational management

With supervision by Wishibam experts, this e-shop is simple, quick and efficient to operate. Sam Perneel, Head of Asset Management Retail at AG Real Estate says: “By selecting Wishibam, we chose specialists in implementing e-commerce platforms for shopping centres of a certain size. Their expertise was confirmed during the creation of French e-shops, for the Cap 3000 and Village Outlet malls, among others. They represent more than 1,200 brands. We are pleased to have this chance to introduce AG Real Estate as a pioneer in the e-commerce sector, with this first initiative of its kind in Belgium”.

The platform is quick to install and will take merchants 10 minutes a day to manage. Stocks can be updated daily with just a few clicks. The system simplifies the ordering process for both users and retailers. As with the major e-commerce platforms, it provides the specific features required for success (order notification by e-mail, secure and fast payment via Stripe, free return within 15 days, etc.).

Many traders have been won over by the initiative and have already signed up for AG Real Estate’s new e-commerce platform.