One of the difficulties of apps is that many large companies in the retail sector feel they have to have one. It’s not entirely untrue, in fact there are many apps that would probably work well and some that would do wonders for retailers. However, for malls, not much can help except a simple content app. In my humble opinion, Canal Walk’s app tries to do more, and fails somewhat.
The app is easy to find, the download size is good and screens and design are simple, however many features are only available if you register with your mobile number – why? There is currently no advertising on the relatively sparse app itself, so it is unclear what the phone numbers will be used for. No thanks…
This tweet also came up while doing research on the Canal Walk app:
The Canal Walk Android App is terrible. No wonder it gets rated so badly in Market. Seems like a very rushed job & the app isn’t very useful
— Ashley Kleynhans (@ashleykZA) January 7, 2012
Mallinfo is the company who has developed the app, listed as Conor Information Technologies. They have received some good and some poor reviews on their suite of mall apps, but I would venture to say that their apps are simply built to do what the clients have asked for. The only part of their app which fails functionally is the 404 received when you tap to see a list of movies (through Nu Metro).
A good feature of the app is a “gift ideas” tab, where you can search according to male/female, age and a few other parameters, and a list of potential gifts from various stores is displayed. The app also works on 2D scannable codes, simply put: QR codes, presumably to try and detect location.
Previously, gadget.co.za reported: “South Africa is fast catching up to the rest of the world regarding the use of 2-dimensional scanable codes – the 21st century equivalent of bar codes – using a smartphone’s camera,” says Mr Jacques Oosthuizen from Mallinfo, who created the apps for Canal Walk. However, are QR codes actually gaining any ground?
Canal Walk, and all malls and retailers in South Africa, can do with a better app for their shops, goods, specials and other features within their walls. There is currently no gamified app, nothing fun, just content and information. Another thing this application doesn’t include at all is verified location. Wouldn’t it be cool to walk into a store and be instantly rewarded? My two cents is that we have a long way to go in terms of using mobiles within retail stores or malls.