SingPost To Design O2O Mall Of The Future

Retailers have yet to figure out the magic formula for online-to-offline sales. Should they focus on in-store experiences or back-end logistics for the best results with shoppers?

Singapore Post Limited, more commonly called SingPost, thinks new retail strategies won’t force merchants to choose one or the other. SingPost announced Wednesday (Oct. 28) that it would be spearheading the development of an innovative shopping center located in Singapore that will allow online retailers to showcase products in in-store formats. At nearly 269,000 square feet, the Singapore Post Centre, which is slated to open in mid-2017, will let shoppers test out items with their own hands before ordering and scheduling deliveries directly to their homes.

Lim Ho Kee, chairman of SingPost, explained that the SPC will help maintain momentum for eCommerce retailers across the Asia Pacific region.

“Ever since our IPO in 2003, SingPost has always sought to maximize the returns to our shareholders by realizing the full potential of our assets — from human capital to physical assets and resources,” Kee said in a statement. “The redevelopment of the retail mall at SPC is part of our efforts to extract maximum value from our property portfolio and support our accelerated transformation from Singapore mail to global eCommerce logistics.”

SingPost’s ideal vision for the redesigned SPC consists of customers perusing a retailer’s offerings, making a purchase and scheduling deliveries. Meanwhile, the merchant is busy processing the order and facilitating shipments that take place at off-site fulfillment centers, thereby cutting down on in-store inventory. Shoppers can then go see a movie or head to another store without worrying about carrying cumbersome shopping bags.

The SPC announcement comes mere weeks after TechCrunch reported on SingPost’s ambitious plan to bring drone deliveries to Singapore. If SingPost can deliver on just a few of these innovative projects, the Asia Pacific retail market could be in store for some big changes.

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The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.