August 8, 2022

HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRIPE-VINE: OUR NEW ABNORMAL

If you’ll search hard for silver linings in the last two years and a half of the pandemic, one such lining would be when so much of life transitioned to online, in vying for our attention and patronage, so many lifestyle brands and choices had to revisit their platforms, and find better ways to interact with the consumer and public. Being user-friendly was paramount, and the brands that recognized this immediately, and were ready to invest and tinker with their apps, were ahead in the game.

One school of thought would say let the individual brands and retailers duke it out in this online arena; and that given the magnitude of the physical nature of the mall, and its role as a consolidator, it could remain above the fray.

And that’s why I’ll give due credit to SM Supermalls, who immediately took their stakeholders, clientele, and mall-goers to heart, and found ways to stay top of mind while the pandemic was effecting restrictions. The effort to strive to continuously improve and upgrade their digital platforms and presence, and be all-inclusive, has reaped benefits for their online presence to the present day.

The SM Malls Online app.

Without a doubt, it wasn’t always an easy ride for senior citizens such as me to convert to, and/or expand on, our online presence. I’ve often joked about how many in my generation will have a mobile phone; but will stick to calling, texting, and checking/posting on social media feeds (that were installed by our kids).

For many, that was the sum total of our mobile “presence.” But over the pandemic, GCash, Grab, and Lalamove became part of our online vocabulary, our digital best friends. We were “forced” to navigate these apps in order to “survive” – or at the very least, be up to speed with the rest of the population in dealing with the pandemic.

THE APP directed me to SM Aura, the Supermall closest to me; and here’s part of the page offering Food options, classified by category.

And now that restrictions have eased up, and we’re relatively adept with using these apps, it’s good to know we’ve caught up a bit with what the boomers, millennials, and kids have known all along – that these apps are super-convenient and are here to stay. Their application and use will only diversify and improve further, and it’s probably happening while you’re reading these very words. That’s the basic tenet of how this digital age, and era of the metaverse, evolves.

Going back to SM Supermalls and their SM Mall Online, I only recently introduced myself to the app, and it’s been a great boon ever since. I don’t have a driver, as I prefer to drive myself around; and what with parking, the increase in traffic congestion, and the continuous spiraling cost of fuel, I’ve been super-happy with how easy it was to register, and then navigate myself within the SM Mall Online app.

After I registered my mobile number or email address, it asked for my home address and a OTP was sent so the app could verify it’s me (and that’s SOP whenever I use the app). It asked for my delivery address and immediately prompted me to the closest of the SM Supermalls – in my case, indicating a Makati address, it sent me to SM Aura.

Icons for food, grocery, SM fulfilled, shops, cinema, cyberzone, discounts, and pharmacy appeared on the screen, so it was like I was virtually at SM Aura! It was just a matter of what I wanted to shop for that instant.

Clicking on food, I was led to a page where I had the option to shop by brand; i.e., all the different F&B outlets that can be found at Aura were listed alphabetically. Or I could shop by category, where there were icons for Chinese, Filipino, Food Court, Fusion, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Middle Eastern, and so on. If you opt to go by category, clicking on fusion for example, opened up a chance to scroll through the dishes of restaurants such as Greyhound Cafe, and all I had to do was add to the cart, create my meal of the day, and proceed to pay, with delivery factored in.

I can buy multiple products from different brands and categories and pay with one checkout. The products come straight from the store to my door which is super-convenient. Plus I had the option of having the purchases delivered or picked up. Via the Geo-Location Centric feature, the digital mall was ensuring I was within a 10-kilometer radius of the mall, and food can be delivered within a two hour window, and non-food items are delivered within 24 hours.

Payment method includes the option of paying with a credit/debit card. And the way the app has been configured, one could see the endless possibilities. Say there’s a number of you at home, and each person wants a dish from a specific restaurant – you can order across restaurants, pay with one checkout, and have all the food from the different outlets delivered to your home. Now that’s something you can’t even do if your group of friends were physically at the mall.

If I could navigate my way around the app, that means it’s super user-friendly. I’m low tech to this day; and if there’s tech savvy, I’m “tech sad-me.” The fact that I didn’t have to call on any of my sons to help me with this app says a whole lot. Check out SM Mall Online on your App Store, and discover the convenience for yourself!

HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRIPE-VINE: OUR NEW ABNORMAL

If you’ll search hard for silver linings in the last two years and a half of the pandemic, one such lining would be when so much of life transitioned to online, in vying for our attention and patronage, so many lifestyle brands and choices had to revisit their platforms, and find better ways to interact with the consumer and public. Being user-friendly was paramount, and the brands that recognized this immediately, and were ready to invest and tinker with their apps, were ahead in the game.

One school of thought would say let the individual brands and retailers duke it out in this online arena; and that given the magnitude of the physical nature of the mall, and its role as a consolidator, it could remain above the fray.

And that’s why I’ll give due credit to SM Supermalls, who immediately took their stakeholders, clientele, and mall-goers to heart, and found ways to stay top of mind while the pandemic was effecting restrictions. The effort to strive to continuously improve and upgrade their digital platforms and presence, and be all-inclusive, has reaped benefits for their online presence to the present day.

The SM Malls Online app.

Without a doubt, it wasn’t always an easy ride for senior citizens such as me to convert to, and/or expand on, our online presence. I’ve often joked about how many in my generation will have a mobile phone; but will stick to calling, texting, and checking/posting on social media feeds (that were installed by our kids).

For many, that was the sum total of our mobile “presence.” But over the pandemic, GCash, Grab, and Lalamove became part of our online vocabulary, our digital best friends. We were “forced” to navigate these apps in order to “survive” – or at the very least, be up to speed with the rest of the population in dealing with the pandemic.

THE APP directed me to SM Aura, the Supermall closest to me; and here’s part of the page offering Food options, classified by category.

And now that restrictions have eased up, and we’re relatively adept with using these apps, it’s good to know we’ve caught up a bit with what the boomers, millennials, and kids have known all along – that these apps are super-convenient and are here to stay. Their application and use will only diversify and improve further, and it’s probably happening while you’re reading these very words. That’s the basic tenet of how this digital age, and era of the metaverse, evolves.

Going back to SM Supermalls and their SM Mall Online, I only recently introduced myself to the app, and it’s been a great boon ever since. I don’t have a driver, as I prefer to drive myself around; and what with parking, the increase in traffic congestion, and the continuous spiraling cost of fuel, I’ve been super-happy with how easy it was to register, and then navigate myself within the SM Mall Online app.

After I registered my mobile number or email address, it asked for my home address and a OTP was sent so the app could verify it’s me (and that’s SOP whenever I use the app). It asked for my delivery address and immediately prompted me to the closest of the SM Supermalls – in my case, indicating a Makati address, it sent me to SM Aura.

Icons for food, grocery, SM fulfilled, shops, cinema, cyberzone, discounts, and pharmacy appeared on the screen, so it was like I was virtually at SM Aura! It was just a matter of what I wanted to shop for that instant.

Clicking on food, I was led to a page where I had the option to shop by brand; i.e., all the different F&B outlets that can be found at Aura were listed alphabetically. Or I could shop by category, where there were icons for Chinese, Filipino, Food Court, Fusion, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Middle Eastern, and so on. If you opt to go by category, clicking on fusion for example, opened up a chance to scroll through the dishes of restaurants such as Greyhound Cafe, and all I had to do was add to the cart, create my meal of the day, and proceed to pay, with delivery factored in.

I can buy multiple products from different brands and categories and pay with one checkout. The products come straight from the store to my door which is super-convenient. Plus I had the option of having the purchases delivered or picked up. Via the Geo-Location Centric feature, the digital mall was ensuring I was within a 10-kilometer radius of the mall, and food can be delivered within a two hour window, and non-food items are delivered within 24 hours.

Payment method includes the option of paying with a credit/debit card. And the way the app has been configured, one could see the endless possibilities. Say there’s a number of you at home, and each person wants a dish from a specific restaurant – you can order across restaurants, pay with one checkout, and have all the food from the different outlets delivered to your home. Now that’s something you can’t even do if your group of friends were physically at the mall.

If I could navigate my way around the app, that means it’s super user-friendly. I’m low tech to this day; and if there’s tech savvy, I’m “tech sad-me.” The fact that I didn’t have to call on any of my sons to help me with this app says a whole lot. Check out SM Mall Online on your App Store, and discover the convenience for yourself!

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