Cadillac Fairview unveils new national shopping app

Live by CF will help consumers navigate pre- and post-pandemic concerns, while giving retailers insight into their shopping habits.

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Cadillac Fairvew is introducing a new customizable shopping app so users can engage with their local mall and over 65 retailers that are located inside them as they gradually re-open.

Cadillac Fairview’s Live by CF app – built by internal innovation team Ravel – grants access to a directory for the company’s 19 properties, including icon-based navigation cues to help plan the most efficient shopping routes and information related to COVID-19 safety protocols, such as up-to-date mall opening hours and the location of hand sanitizer stations. Users will be able to see up-to-date hours for individual retailers, including which stores are or are not yet open, and find curbside pickup zones where that service is offered.

They can also get access to exclusive in-store offers from retail brands like H&M and Browns, as well as curated collections like “poolside essentials,” “Canada Day gear,” and “outdoor dining.” By bringing items from multiple retailers together, it helps turn the mall into a more organized one-stop shop, with information about where the products in the collection can be found in the mall, but also outbound links to retailer websites where they can check out items that might not be in-stock.

Live by CF builds on and replaces CF Browse – which was tested in Toronto’s Eaton Centre last year – and retains the app’s ability to let customers browse inventory at participating mall retailers. A big draw of Browse for retail tenants was the ability to access data about the habits and interests of mall shoppers and potentially target them with personalized offers.

Looking forward, Jose Ribau, EVP of digital and innovation at Ravel by CF, says it plans to expand features, such as the ability for a shoppers to create a personalized account that helps them receive exclusive offers and unique VIP experiences. He says that it is looking to expand the digital directory to not only help navigate CF malls, but also receive notifications about favourite brands, such as new offers, store hours,or special events.

According to Ribau, the world we knew before COVID-19 doesn’t exist anymore and for a company like CF, the new norm requires a whole new level of strategy, planning, innovation and operational adjustment. Yet, he maintains that while e-commerce has changed consumer expectations for convenience and personalization, there is an “undeniable draw for Canadians to an immersive physical shopping experience.”

According to data gained from pilots and tests over the last 18 months, CF shoppers want to plan their visit in advance – for safety due to pandemic, but also for efficiency, a desire that existed prior to this year. The app’s product searchability and connection to both physical and digital retail stores gives consumers the benefit of digital navigation with the satisfaction of a real-world shopping experience.

Outside of the app, Ribau says CF is also working with retailers to help support flexible and mobile payments, as well as logistics and delivery support, in response to the new normal of post-pandemic retail.

This should be music to the ears of beleaguered retailers hit hard by COVID closures. According to the latest StatsCan figures, clothing and clothing accessory stores, as well as jewellery, luggage and leather goods stores, many of which are located in shopping malls, saw a massive dip in sales, down by half in March compared with the same period last year.

To support the launch of Live, a full marketing plan is being executed both online and in-property, including digital media, social engagement and promotions across all 19 CF shopping centres.