As online shopping allows people to order just about everything without having to even leave their homes, the face of traditional shopping outlets is changing. But that doesn’t mean that retail outlets will go extinct. More and more shopping centers are discovering that the way forward is offering shoppers something they won’t find with online sites like Amazon: a tangible experience.

Consider the steps being taken by mall developer Westfield. Promoted as “Destination 2018”, their bold bid is to essentially turn their shopping malls into tiny cities. And while developers have been leading this trend for years with the rise of mixed-use developments in urban spaces, Westfield is going all in on the “live, work, play” aesthetic. Artificial intelligence is being incorporated into everything from the changing rooms to the retinal scanners to the walkways, but the biggest change is in making sure that the retail outlets are experiential rather than just transactional. These include plots of farmland where shoppers can pick their own produce, classrooms that give visitors an inside look into how their favorite products are made, and a steady flow of events to keep customers coming back regularly.

Innovators are working hard to change how customers think about real-world retail, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still face intense challenges. It’s estimated that online commerce will constitute 30% of sales by 2030, and reports indicate that America devotes significantly more real estate to retail outlets when compared to other developed nations. As retail moves forward, developers will have to spend more time scrutinizing their demographics closely. The selling point of malls was once that they offered practically any shopping outlet you could want in one place, and that was enough incentive to convince people across all layers of society to make a bit of an extra drive. Developers will have to start building experiences where the experience of shopping takes precedence over the act of purchasing, but that will require carefully analyzing their neighborhoods and creating the sorts of pitches and experiences that connect uniquely to their neighbors and potential consumers.

If retail outlets want to succeed, they won’t do so by selling consumers on products they can just buy cheaper and more easily elsewhere. They’ll have to sell consumers that there’s value in the very experience of shopping in the real world.