Online shopping can never replace shopping malls. Fight me.

Some things online shopping cannot replace.

Abriel Tay | Sponsored | July 30, 2020, 12:03 PM

Wear a mask, head out, then scan the QR code. Sometimes, still need to queue.

Going to a shopping mall these days is different.

But these are just some things we have to put up with as we continue to manage Covid-19 cases in Singapore.

Yes, malls are open now but ever since they were shuttered temporarily during the circuit breaker period, we’ve started to appreciate them a lot more.

Sure, we’ve learnt to live with the “new normal”, where we use online shopping to replace actually visiting a shopping mall.

But… it’s just not the same. I mean, we can go to a shopping mall with friends but can we “go online shopping” with friends? Sorry, cannot.

Here are some of the reasons why shopping malls can never be replaced.

1. Actually trying clothes

Seriously though, online shopping is pretty efficient. We have the entire catalogue in front of us. Just hit a few keys and we can find what we want.

But when we actually try to decide whether to purchase, jialat. How to make sure if size is correct or if the material is good?

Remember fitting rooms? Yes, nothing beats actually trying the clothes, seeing how they fit, feeling how they feel, and seeing how we look wearing them.

Online shops try their best to match up with size guides but even then, checking out always feels like a gamble. Even if you get creative, it’s still a risk.

Never try, never know. GIF by gemiapp/Giphy

2. “May I help you?”

Okay, this might be debatable since some prefer shopping in solitude.

After all, a friendly “May I help you?” tend to feel like added pressure on us to make a purchase. Yet, these days we are all a little deprived of social interaction so any interaction is welcome.

Service staff: “May I help you?”

Me: “Help. pls.”

When we really need help, service staff are a godsend. We get all our queries answered in real-time.

Another size? Okay. Another colour? Can. Discount? Can try.

There are also no back and forth emails like those when we run into problems while shopping online. Some online shops have a live chat function but even then, replies can be slow (or worse, no reply). In the end, we may also feel like we’re talking to an AI. Haizzzz.

3. Food, food, food

Another thing we miss about shopping malls is dining in.

Photo from Suntec City.

Photo from Suntec City.

Remember the takeaway days? Okay, for some of us it’s still the default. But on the occasion that we do head out to a shopping mall, we realise how amazing it is to have food served fresh and piping hot.

And it’s not just that. It’s also the variety of food options that malls provide, be it proper meals, desserts, snacks, or pastries.

Best of all? No delivery time or fees. Solid.

4. Just walking around

Not all trips to shopping malls are purposeful. Sometimes we visit malls with family and friends simply to spend time together.

This sounds inane but having been cooped up at home in the past few months, we now appreciate being able to wander around in a shopping mall.

Just a few months back during the circuit breaker period, this was impossible. Shopping malls were closed and public spaces were mostly deserted.

5. Doing more than just shopping

When we actually think about it, there’s a lot more than just shopping to shopping malls.

There’s always some atrium event going on. Not very sure what’s happening but we still kaypoh and check out anyway. Some malls also have playspaces, rooftop gardens, and even stunning water fountains.

Fountain of Wealth. Huat. Photo from Suntec City.

Malls are also where some of us get our haircut, our photos printed, or laundry dry cleaned. Okay, there are probably online services for photo printing and dry cleaning. But there’s no such thing as a virtual haircut hor.. At least for now.

6. The deals

In the end, the most relevant thing we miss about shopping malls is their promotions.

While online shops have their promotions, shopping malls' promotions have a sort of double deal effect. We get to enjoy shopping malls' promotions on top of individual shops’ promotions.

Suntec City’s National Day campaign

One promotion we can look forward to is Suntec’s City’s National Day celebration, running from Jul. 30 to Aug. 23.

There are even free perks for visiting Suntec City:

  • 2,000 Suntec+ points (worth S$2) when you alight at Promenade, Esplanade or City Hall MRT station between 10am and 9pm OR free parking coupon (worth S$2.80).
  • S$3 Off Grab ride to Suntec City with promo code: SUNTEC, valid from 10am – 10pm.

A minimum S$55 spent also gets you a $5 Suntec City voucher.

Between Aug. 1 and Aug. 10, they are offering 55 per cent off flash deals for shops such as Wingstop, Famous Amos, and Morganfield’s through the Suntec+ app.

You can also win 55,000 Suntec+ points (worth $55) if you are one of the top 10 scorers of the free-to-play uniquely Singapore “Block Catching” game. You can play the game in app or online here. You play as the catcher and you’ll encounter a neighbour’s dog barking or a grandma telling you “don’t run ah”, which will slow you down. Quite fun.

Online shopping isn’t going away and we’ll probably still shop online. But all things considered, nothing beats shopping at shopping malls, especially when there’s a promotion.

Okay, happy real-life shopping and be responsible while out and about.

Don’t run ah.

This sponsored article made the writer miss shopping malls more.