Three reasons why indoor navigation is changing the retail experience

Gradient of red and blue over an image of a retail store. On top of the image are two phone screens, showing navigation in the shopping centre, map view and also text view.

It’s no secret that consumer demands are changing. Consumers want the ease and convenience of shopping online, with the tactile and social experience of going into stores and being able to touch the products. 

At the same time, shopping centres are increasingly becoming more complex, spanning multiple levels, buildings, and streets. We’ve all found ourselves walking around in circles, trying to find a particular store, and becoming frustrated with the time wasted.

Information kiosks and physical signage give shoppers a general idea of where they are heading, but they lack the detail of being able to guide consumers every step of the way to the store. A massive frustration around digital kiosks is that you first have to find the kiosk to get the appropriate guidance to the store you’re looking for. There are no guidelines or mandates for where you need to place the kiosk, so this is different in all shopping centres.

Real-time indoor navigation solutions, like BindiMaps, enable shoppers to have all of the functionality of a kiosk but in their pockets.

We’ve outlined three reasons why indoor navigation is changing the retail experience:

1. Vertical navigation 

We have only been used to horizontal or two-dimensional navigation – driving from A to B. Vertical navigation is a significant problem because indoor spaces aren’t as simple as outdoor roads. Indoor spaces are complex beasts with different levels, elevators, stairs, escalators, split levels, and much more that can frustrate consumers after walking around. 

Having a system in place that provides vertical navigation, that lets you know which floor you’re on and gives you detailed visual or audio directions to direct you to your favourite shoe store is more than just a nice-to-have; it’s something that increases customer satisfaction and ensures all shoppers have a great experience and want to return.

2. Insightful Analytics

On the backend, wayfinding maps collect various data that helps retailers understand how customers move about a shopping centre. BindiMaps can understand what stores customers are searching for to help retailers and centre management zone in on the types of products they are looking for.

This information helps shopping centres predict future demand and optimise centre planning and serves as an excellent tool for conversations around leasing agreements and assisting tenants in understanding – with actual data – how many people are walking past their stores and looking through their windows.

3. Timely and accurate information 

Digital wayfinding solutions enable shopping centres to quickly and efficiently update new stores, location changes, and blocked areas. Updating information for shoppers can be a time-consuming exercise to cover all bases. Kiosks and web-based centre directories can be updated simply depending on the integration level with the currently deployed software solution.

Although updating all customer service staff, paper maps and signage deployed throughout the centre will take time (and in some cases, quite a bit of money). During this delayed transition, retailers may be missing out on revenue from misinformed shoppers in the centre. 

Shoppers want visibility to help them find exactly what they’re looking for. Kiosks and physical signage may have been okay until now, but there are more accurate and convenient ways of allowing people to find what they’re looking for.

Integrating an indoor navigation app could increase shopper retention for shopping centres while removing friction to create an even more enjoyable shopping experience.

To learn more about how BindiMaps can improve the retail experience, get in touch with mladen@bindimaps.com.

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