By Aimee Chanthadavong

Westfield has given its website,, a revamp calling it the Searchable Mall to allow shoppers to find what they want in their local Westfield shopping centre either in-store or online.

Shoppers can now find fashion and beauty products available in their local Westfield shopping centre as well as finding stores, opening hours, deals, events and movie times across any screen, at any time.

John Batistich, Westfield marketing director, told RetailBiz the Searchable Mall is an important digital innovation in connecting its retailers with shoppers.

“Firstly, eBay released statistics showing 75 per cent of its shoppers are local and that was US data from last year and we’ve seen the same,” he said.

“So what we found was customers wanted to find stores, products, deals, events, opening hours and cinema times through the lens of their local malls. They can now start the shopper journey with us to plan their visit.”

But unlike the previous website — that gave shoppers access to non-Westfield tenants — Searchable Mall will only feature products from Westfield retail tenants. At first release, it will have 97,000 fashion and beauty products from retailers, including David Jones, Country Road, Cue, Cotton On, Betts, Sass and Bide, General Pants, Glue, Katies, Supre and Diva.

“The previous site did have non-tenants, which we’ve worked with them on removal,” he said.

“We’re focusing on Westfield retailers that are in our physical malls and connecting the digital shopper with our physical malls.”

While the platform helps inform shoppers from web to store, shoppers can also click-out to retailer websites to purchase products online.

“We’re only working with Westfield retailers so this will help the shopper in their shopping journey but also help drive traffic in-store, increase sales as well as help retailers reach a broader audience. It will also affect their online sales too,” Batistich said.

The Searchable Mall is the first product launch of Westfield’s global digital roadmap, which Batistich believes is critical to helping deliver an “easier, better and more special” shopping experience to consumers.

“Digital channels are increasingly being used to drive traffic for offline channels,” he said.

“It’s no longer about bricks versus clicks or online versus offline; it’s really about creating touch points for a seamless experience to help shoppers in effect get what they want.

“We’ve seen this profound change in shopper behaviour. Since we launched our first shoppable mall, we wanted to help deliver what they wanted from their local Westfield and now Searchable Mall allows them to buy online or offline with the best brands.”

As for how things are looking this Christmas, Batistich said results are quite positive.

“We definitely launched at a time to help shoppers when they need it most to find gifts, to map their way around and to find out opening hours,” he said.

“So we very much see in the month of December the doubling of visits. We’re very optimistic. We received results from Commonwealth Bank on credit card and eftpos transactions and in comparison to four to five years ago, in the last few weeks there has been an increase in retail sales.

“What we’re seeing is house prices have been growing at the end of October. There’s been house price increased in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Sydney’s house prices are up 11 per cent, Melbourne is up 7 per cent and Brisbane is up 4 per cent and there’s a very high correlation on spending and average house prices, based on Citibank’s retail spending results.

“We haven’t seen that growth for a while so based on house prices and Commonwealth Bank’s credit card results, we’re confident this Christmas will be better. Westfield has put in place initiatives, such as Super Saturday, which is on 7 December, to help drive it.”