Sim Lim Square to go online amid collective sale

Sim Lim Square is launching a new e-commerce platform on July 1 for its tenants. About 50 tenants have joined the online marketplace and the mall aims to have 300 tenants on board.
Sim Lim Square is launching a new e-commerce platform on July 1 for its tenants. About 50 tenants have joined the online marketplace and the mall aims to have 300 tenants on board.ST FILE PHOTO

Sim Lim Square is moving with the times with its soon-to-be-launched e-commerce platform for mall tenants.

The platform is still being tested and will launch on July 1, the centre's management said yesterday.

The initiative has been in the works for a year and is not in response to the mall's collective sale, it noted, adding that it would not comment on the amount invested to create the new marketplace.

Local digital agency Addpetizer has built the online site, which is an opt-in initiative to develop new channels of reaching customers of Sim Lim Square's tenants.

Tenants will get full autonomy to run their own e-commerce businesses on the marketplace, similar to how portals like Lazada, Amazon or Shopee work.

The mall has got around 50 tenants on board so far, with aims to convince 300 tenants that are Sim Lim Square's "star retailers" out of a total of 480 to join the site.

Training sessions for all tenants are being conducted on the capabilities of e-commerce and how to manage an online shop.

This means more hands-on training for older tenants, said Mr Sean Chia, head of advertising and promotions at Sim Lim Square.

"Fortunately, many of the older tenants have younger shop assistants who are able to assist and facilitate their transition to this new digital marketplace," he added.

Mr Chia said the mall's management had noticed changes to shoppers' buying behaviour in the light of the e-commerce boom and decided it was the right time to take the mall and its tenants digital.

The mall's management plans to drive traffic to the online marketplace by advertising more on digital media, radio, television and other media platforms as well as traditional newspaper ads.

Mr Chia said the mall needs to "constantly evolve" to meet the demands of its digital-savvy customers: "With our new e-commerce website, we are proud to be at the forefront of IT retail."

Addpetizer managing director Benedict Yeo said the new platform will give customers hands-on experience with gadgets in the mall and let them place their orders online any time.

"While many may say that e-commerce has rendered physical retail obsolete, we believe that it is instead a valuable capability that malls can develop," Mr Yeo added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2019, with the headline 'Sim Lim Square to go online amid collective sale'. Print Edition | Subscribe