With online shopping on a rising trend globally, e-commerce is gradually changing Hong Kong’s retail landscape. To tap into new opportunities in this area and to better understand the impact of online commerce on local shopping mall retailing, Link conducted an in-depth survey over the past 12 months of the online behaviours of local shoppers in general and the spending patterns of shoppers at Link’s shopping centres in particular. The survey showed that nearly 90% of shoppers in Hong Kong rely on online information to make consumption decisions, underscoring online shopping as a major business trend.
With regard to spending patterns of shoppers at Link’s shopping centres, the survey also found that they do 80% of their shopping in physical stores, with online consumption accounting for the remaining 20% – a level lower than general shoppers in Hong Kong, Mainland China and other neighbouring regions. The survey also found Link shoppers’ online transactions are dominated by the fashion, electronics, tourism and banking service categories. As indicated in Link’s annual report, food-related tenants account for 60% of Link’s portfolio in terms of monthly rental income. Of these, nearly half are restaurants, reflecting the fact that physical stores remain important for Link shoppers.
Hilda Wong, Head of Customer Experience Management of Link Asset Management, said, "With the growing popularity of online consumption, Link has been closely monitoring the growth of e-tailing and e-commerce, and actively building an online-to-offline platform to offer various new initiatives – including our Park & Dine mobile app – that enhance shopping mall services through online functions, strengthen tenants’ competitiveness and bring more convenience to shoppers. This not only serves to create a robust, reliable online platform for tenants, but it also enables seamless convergence with e-tailing as online shopping gains further ground down the road.
"Park & Dine’s new functions are designed to meet shoppers’ needs and solve their shopping challenges, many of which they reported to us through the survey. Since its launch last May, the Park & Dine app has recorded over 120,000 downloads in less than a year. The app’s success lies in pioneering a new platform at the consumer level to provide real-time parking information, assist in route navigation, help shoppers find their parked cars, and offer comprehensive dining and shopping information at our shopping malls and fresh markets. And, thanks to the app’s mall maps and e-queuing service, we are also helping visitors to our shopping centres search for their favourite shops while simultaneously expanding the customer base for our small retailer tenants."
To satisfy Hong Kong people’s love of great food, Park & Dine has added a new dining page that offers a quick glance of restaurant choices at Link’s shopping centres, as well as “editor’s pick” features of speciality restaurants. The e-queuing service has also been extended to 16 Link shopping malls to enable customers to make the most of their time. The app now offers over 200 e-coupons with discounts of up to 60% at over 60 of Link’s malls, benefiting shoppers while encouraging the public to learn more about the wide range of tenants at Link’s malls and markets.
"Going forward, Link will continue to explore opportunities to cooperate with financial institutions and payment service providers to strengthen the competitiveness of small retailers in Hong Kong’s retail market through the use of technology applications," said Ms Wong.