The other day I needed a new dress. “Need” is used loosely here, admittedly, but I wanted a dress for a very specific occasion. So I hit the mall. And then another mall. And then a bunch of other stores. And never found what I wanted. Apparently retailers aren’t so into red, short-sleeved dresses right now- but what can you do?
Well, at a basic level, not much. You can’t exactly control a store’s inventory. Even the most shopper-centric retailers can only do so much with insights to figure out what you want. For situations like mine though, where you want something specific- there is now an app for that! At the risk of sounding like a Westfield Malls commercial, check out this new app from the Westfield Mall development company, found via Mashable a couple of weeks ago. You type in what you are looking for and the app scours the inventories of retailers at a specific mall to point you in the right direction. Theoretically, the app should help spare you the hours-long shopping sprees I carried out the other day by directing you to stores that have items close to what you are looking for. Instead of browsing the shelves at every single store, you can slim down your list to those that have something remotely applicable (at least according to the inventory description). The app also shows pictures which is great, because just a keyword search might be a tad too generic to be helpful.
Granted, there is something to be said for browsing stores- I love just piddling around to see what I will find. But for a day when you just really, really need a pair of hot pink heels (or a red dress!) it seems like this app could be pretty helpful. I don’t actually have any Westfield Malls in my area so I can’t test it out the next time I “need” something, but I like where the retail world is going. The app also shows shopping offers and movie times. I think my favorite part is that you can record audio to remind yourself where you parked- back in my car-driving days I could have really benefitted from that! There is also something called a “pen” I could have used to write down the parking info rather than record it on my phone… but where’s the fun in that?