Move Over Dubai Mall, There’s a New “Largest Mall in the World”

chrysalis largest mall

You may have heard about Dubai Mall, otherwise known as ‘the largest mall in the world’.

It has over 1,200 retail stores and 200 food outlets. And last year (2014), it got over 80,000,000 visitors. Yes…that’s 80 million.

Let’s put that in perspective for a moment. Jamaica’s entire population is estimated at 2.8 million in 2015. So that’s almost 30X our entire population traversing the mall within one year!

And you imagine browsing through 1,200 stores…or picking a place for lunch from 200 options? What a conundrum!

So what could possibly be bigger than this?

Well…social media, of course!

Social media has always had a lot of visitors – Facebook, the largest network, has  936 million active users on average each day. Other networks such as Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest boast impressive numbers too. All of these networks also allow businesses to showcase their products, like they would in their stores, and click through to their website to buy. That’s nothing new.

But there’s one change being made to these social networks that’s going to blow everything else out of the water.

The buy button.

Last year July, Facebook officially announced that it would be testing out a buy button feature. Later in the year, Twitter also announced its own buy button, with this video…

Most recently, Instagram and Pinterest have made their own buy button announcements.

There are a couple things to note. First, these are not yet released to the public. The respective social networks are currently testing them out with a select few retailers in the US market. When they are released, we can expect for them to only work with ads. Which means if businesses want to make use of them, they better prepare to start shelling out some cash. But that will probably cost less than Dubai Mall rent, so no worries there.

The point is that persons will no longer have to click through to individual websites to buy products they see on social media. Their credit cards and addresses will be stored directly on each social network and all it takes is literally a click of a button to purchase items. That’s huge!

The big question retailers are probably asking themselves now is whether they should be abandoning their websites and other marketing efforts and focus on social. Here’s our advice: DON’T DO THAT.

While this news stands to provide a huge benefit, there’s still a few benefits that you can’t (and won’t) get from social media.
  1. Social media is one size fits all – You don’t have much choice in how you present your products or arrange your store on social media. You’re limited to the features they provide. On your website, you’re free to make changes as you see fit and make a unique experience for your customers.
  2. Remember, you don’t own your social media audience – Building your home on a social media network is ill-advised. Sure, you can gain a large audience and widen your reach, and you should definitely use social media – it just shouldn’t be your main online location. Why? Because you’re just renting the space, for free. If you violate terms or upset someone, you can easily get your page closed and you couldn’t do a thing about it. That’s a blow you can’t afford.
  3. When it comes to reaching your audience, email still trumps everything else – Sure, you have thousands of fans on Facebook and Twitter, but have you ever noticed that your individual posts only reach about 1-5% of them? Not that great, huh? Compare it to average email open rates at 20% and you’ll see why email isn’t something you should give up so easily. And again, with emails you’re free to customize and adjust as you please. Not so much with Facebook posts.

So there you have it. Soon persons will have the largest malls in the world right at their fingertips and those really awesome shoes on the way to their house in the click of a button. But that will mean that a stellar off-social-media experience will be that much more valuable – and that’s where you need to shine.

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