ECE Digital Mall – From Shopping Mall to Omnichannel Hub

Case Study
„With Digital Mall, we are making products available online inside the centers for the first time. With this strategic approach, we create additional online reach, which is converted into stationary frequencies and generates additional sales in the shops.“
Alexander Otto, CEO, ECE Group


The overarching goal of the ECE Digital Mall was to regain customer relevance of shopping malls. To achieve this, shopping malls must be able to play a significant role in the current behavior of customers, specifically: the shopping mall must play a significant role in customer journeys in which customers prepare their stationary purchases online, through preselection and availability checks of assortments and items possible on the basis of good item descriptions, through advance reservation or purchase, through collection or delivery.

For this, the digital visibility of the local assortments of the retailers in the shopping mall must be established and atmospheric staging of the products offered must be created.

Processes were setup to enable ECE and the connected retailers to provide product and availability data and offer the customer the choice of reserving or even ordering with delivery. These goals were complex and ambitious simply because of the large number of different parties involved.


As part of the project, eStrategy Consulting developed the concept of the “Digital Mall” with and for ECE, an innovative digital platform that develops stationary shopping centers into omnichannel platforms. The Digital Mall mirrors the assortments of the stationary retailers and thus provides the basis for a multitude of strategic use cases that could be successfully implemented::

  • Availability check: Customers have the possibility to research whether a desired product is available in the centre on the website of the centres or in the centre app.
  • Online product search: The online product search makes the availability of the products of the participating retailers in the ECE centres visible online.
  • Buy in store: Many customers prepare their purchases online and want an online availability check for stationary shops. Those who have found the desired product can then pick it up on site in the shop.
  • Delivery: In the future, items will also be delivered from the centre directly to the customer’s home. In addition, same-day delivery from the centre to a desired address in the vicinity will be possible in the near future. The tests in the pilot phase already show that with the knowledge of the locally available stock and a centre’s own logistics, delivery can be successfully made within a few hours.

In addition, ECE’s Digital Mall supports the future exploration of many other innovative approaches, such as loyalty programmes that can be applied to all purchases in the mall across all retailers or “voice commerce”, where customers can order via chatbots in their cars and pick up their purchases in drive-ins in the shopping mall.


The Digital Mall has now been rolled out to more than 60 ECE shopping malls in Germany and integrates the product ranges of more than 90 retailers, most of which operate across different locations. It is integrated into ECE’s cooperations with Google and eBay. For the further scaling of innovation and operation with the project partner Otto, the Digital Mall was transferred to the joint venture “Stock Square”, which was founded especially for this purpose.

The Digital Mall has become an international beacon project for the digitalisation of shopping malls and has received several awards.


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2022-02-03T22:36:34+01:00Tags: |
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