Greece’s first digital mall is taking its first steps, with the aim of granting traders and professionals active in any given region the space to advertise their products, offers and promotional activities at very low rates, initially increasing their sales at their physical stores and then their online sales.
The digital mall first saw the light of day over the summer in the town of Xylokastro, in the northern Peloponnese, in a pilot project created by Greek startup PROothisi.
The company also intends to create a network of distributors that will be available to local companies and professionals through the digital mall. At a later stage the project could also serve as an online sales platform.
PROothisi founder and chief executive Panagiotis Ntomalis says the company has held talks with several other municipalities, and that he is seeing progress with the local authorities at Piraeus, Kalamata, Alexandroupoli, Igoumenitsa and Epidavros, among others.
Its operation is fairly simple: Local enterprises can feed the digital mall with text, images and videos regarding products, offers, promotions etc through Facebook or Messenger. These data are automatically transformed into advertising-promotional material, which the companies or professionals can modify through the internet in real time. Content can also flow in from their own website, if they have one, and be available on the internet, on cellphones and on TV screens. It can also appear on municipal screens located in squares or inside stores.
Users access the app that the digital mall has created and are updated in real time about corporate news and offers, as well as developments from the local media, job vacancies and human resources availability.
Although the digital mall does not yet look or operate like a proper marketplace – that would see transactions take place on the platform from start to finish – consumers are already able to access a hub of enterprises and contact them directly through their e-shops or social media, or even simply view their contact details and make orders by telephone.
The annual subscription rate for enterprises that opt to take a spot in the digital mall is 160 euros.