Summer 2011
An Online Presence for Carts

Kamal Punjabi launched MallCartNetwork.com to assist consumers in easily finding information online about existing carts and kiosks.

It was a while ago that Kamal Punjabi was trying to find a local mall cart for a service he needed. The Las-Vegas based Punjabi was online, scouting around for a specific mall cart that sold clear shields for smartphones—it was a frustrating experience. “I finally found the location on the manufacturer’s website however the actual location within the mall wasn’t listed,” Panjabi recalls. This required a new search to find the actual cart/kiosk inside the mall.

Punjabi noticed that many malls don’t have all the cart/kiosk businesses listed in their directories, making it difficult for shoppers to pinpoint their locations. The entrepreneur saw a need and set out to find the solution. That quest led to the development of Mallcartnetwork.com. Launched in February, the website is devoted exclusively to mall cart and kiosk retailers. By using the website, customers can locate mall carts and kiosks easily.

Win-win for retailers and customers

In essence, through the site, cart and kiosk businesses become the “destination” for shoppers, rather than just a place for shoppers to stumble upon by chance—and then make impulse purchases. Through the site, customers may reserve products or receive updates, coupons, and alerts about special sale events. Described as a “pre-search” site, shoppers can also log onto MallCartNetwork.com to access reviews from previous customers.

Beyond being a helpful tool for consumers, MallCartNetwork.com serves as a central location for retailers. Among the perks for retailers is a complimentary basic profile listed on the site, which includes the cart’s name and a brief description of it, along with the mall’s name, address, and the cart’s exact location inside the mall. An image and logo can be added at no cost. Approximately 500 carts and kiosks are currently listed on the site. “Via the site we also aim to help raise brand awareness of brands that are sold at carts/kiosks,” Punjabi says.

With the listing, retailers get to choose one category to classify products. The first category is complimentary, additional category listings may be purchased for $5 per month. For example, if a cart retailer carries cellphone accessories, he may choose to be listed under two of the website’s categories: “electronics, books and movies” and “iPods, mobile phone and computers.”

Additional category listings make a business easier to find online, Punjabi says. “These help the cart/kiosk business [to] be found in multiple locations within our website and with general search terms via Google and other search engines,” he adds.

Additional benefits

MallCartNetwork.com recognizes the importance of online marketing in today’s competitive marketplace. Currently each free basic profile has the standard sharing icons for Facebook, Twitter and email, and more than 300 sharing choices via social media. This allows shoppers/visitors to share the business profile on their personal Facebook wall/page. The cart/kiosk’s logo or product image can be posted on the shopper’s Facebook profile/wall as well. Once on Facebook this information can instantly be viewed via the iPhone and Google Phone (Android). While mobile, shoppers can refer back to the cart/kiosk business’ profile via their mobile Facebook pages and look up exactly where the cart/kiosk is.

Other perks for retailers include an ability to develop customer relationships via contact through monthly newsletters, social media sharing, and product/service demos with videos, photos, and detailed descriptions. Retailers can also entice shoppers through special discounts and promotions.

The least expensive package offers retailers the free profile plus one coupon feature for $10 per month. Additional customizable features include more photos, videos, and detailed text, a link to the website, additional categories, and a form that allows shoppers to contact the business privately, reducing direct solicitation from other parties. Other options include the ability to send monthly coupons/discounts to local shoppers who are already registered. “Customizable features can help with search engine placement, getting return shoppers, allowing shoppers to find the profile quickly, and allowing shoppers to spend more time visiting the profile and sharing with friends,” Punjabi points out.

Plans are being evaluated to let shoppers make purchases from kiosks/carts directly through the MallCartNetwork site. “We are in the process of evaluating this feature. We may add a feature that offers the ability to buy or reserve online and then pick up at the cart/kiosk location,” Punjabi says.

For more information please visit www.mallcartnetwork.com.

Regina Molaro

Regina Molaro is a freelance writer who covers retail, art and design, and fashion.
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