It’s no secret that brick-and-mortar retailers are competing heavily with their e-commerce counterparts to bring customers in-store and purchase there. And in this competition, shopping malls have emerged as a key battleground.

The original US shopping mall, built in the mid-1950’s, finds itself at a crucial turning point in the age of digital shopping, and in serious need of revitalization and renewal.

How can they compete?

Simply put, the customer experience. And, in an era where digital influences over 1/3 of every dollar spent in a retail store, and where 84% customers use their smartphones before or during a shopping trip, this experience must be digital conscious.

No one understands this better than Westfield Group.

Case in point: Westfield Labs. Since 2012, Westfield has been operating Westfield Labs, the digital arm dedicated to exploring how customers will shop at Westfield’s retailers in the future, emphasizing the convergence of the digital and brick-and-mortar shopping worlds. A VP sums up the purpose of Westfield’s innovation arm perfectly, noting it’s all about “using digital to amplify the physical.” (Plus, cementing their focus on the next generation tech that will power retail, Westfield Labs recently opened Bespoke at Westfield San Francisco, an event, coworking and demo space designed to be the “incubator for innovation” in retail.)

Westfield understands that the advantage they have over e-commerce players is the experience they offer, one that acknowledges a customer’s mobile-first lifestyle, where convenience and a seamless online-to-offline transition is key.

Here’s some of the ideas they’re piloting:

Dine on Time, an app for Westfield’s San Francisco Centre extensive food court, allows the local clientele to easily place an order for pick-up or delivery and avoid the hassle of waiting in line.

In Australia, Westfield is testing a Searchable Mall concept, where products available in stores at the mall are aggregated online, and consumers can visit the site prior to shopping, view what’s available, and prepare a shopping list and digital map of where the products are located within the stores.

Westfield London is currently experimenting with personalized parking for their shoppers, focusing on taking the stress out of the experience. Customers who sign up for Express Parking receive a tag for their vehicle’s windshield, download the Westfield app, and tie that tag and a credit card to their account. From there, visitors can see what spaces are available, prepay, and the parking gate opens automatically upon arrival.

Notice a common theme? Simply put, a focus on improving customer experience through personalization, convenience and ease-of-use through digital channels.

Since 15% of US malls are forecasted to close in the next decade, mall operators need to take the Westfield approach: embrace digital to improve your customer’s physical experience.