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Marketing Uber

DLF shopping malls says digital brands like Uber can enhance offline shopping experiences

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By Taruka Srivastav, Reporter

July 2, 2018 | 3 min read

India's DLF shopping malls has stepped up its strategy to provide omnichannel experience to consumers to keep up with the move to digital, via a partnership with Uber.

India's retail sector is set to reach $1.3tn by 2020, according to the latest report by Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF). The retail sector has been further boosted by the Indian government's push towards a cashless economy and Digital India initiative.

To exploit the opportunity and to enhance the commuting experience, DLF collaborated with Uber to offer rides across its locations, including DLF Promenade, DLF Mall of India, DLF Place Saket and Cyber Hub in New Delhi.

All of the DLF properties will host Uber Experience zones which will be manned to facilitate booking Uber cabs for non–users.

Harshavardhan Chauhan, central head of marketing at DLF shopping malls explains the strategy behind the partnership: "With the advent of e-commerce, we have come up with new retail strategy which is around providing more phygital [physical and digital] experiences to consumers to be able to seamlessly integrate them between online and offline. Taking that thought ahead, in the space of disruption in the digital payment space and disruption about experiences, around commute experiences for consumers, we have taken a lot of initiatives from that aspect.

"Last year we launched Huber, an artificial intelligence-based application that has over a dozen brands, retail outlets, digital applications and even a virtual concierge. It has been designed to elevate the visitor experience at Cyber Hub, now known as Cyber Hub 2.0, by making it more intuitive, personal and accessible."

He said that while offering deals work in the first instance, creating better experience for shoppers via partnerships was the longer-term strategy. "Eventually, we got into further convenient relationships, such as partnering with Uber last year to be able to be able to provide subsidized fares to people who want to visit our mall from their home, or vice versa. This time around, we have not just partnered for subsidised fares but rather very detailed initiatives. "

Furthermore, Uber will set up venues across all properties, which will be mapped on Uber to provide better pick up experience for the ride, reducing the wait time for riders

According to Chauhan, malls are essentially the public places of the future. "In metropolitan cities, malls are becoming the hubs of public places and lifestyle sector and to add to that, commute convenience is something we wanted to solve," he adds.

As part of the collaboration, UberGo will offer 30% off up to Rs 50, from DLF Promenade, DLF Place, DLF Cyberhub and DLF Mall of India.

As for other partnerships in the pipeline, Chauhan says: "Within the commute space, we are exploring a couple of partnerships. We have taken a project with Noida Development Authority to co-develop a multi-level car parking to accommodate around 6000 cars.

"On technology front, we have been closely partnering with Paytm to develop a solution to assist with both in- chauffeur driven car parking and self driven car parking and on subsidized rates. We are coming up with more retail-digital products to aid the shopping experience for consumers in a more phygital manner rather than a digital manner."

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