Img Source - Zlata Topchyi
Most large retail stores have an intricate and complex system of departments. Visiting them takes a lot of time and leads to wandering in search of the right products, which can cause stress and anxiety for shoppers. Navigation in retail using wayfinding maps, which replaces conventional signs and not always convenient information desks, helps solve this problem. In this article, we will take a look at the main benefits of this system and explain why it’s becoming an increasingly popular tool in retail.
What is an indoor navigation system using mobile maps?
Recently, retailers have been actively revamping the infrastructure of their stores. There are many reasons as to why, from increased customer demands to the opportunity to grow profits through cross-selling and the remaining habits after Covid-19. Regular navigation methods in the form of desks and signs are gradually losing their relevance because they don’t always allow the customer to quickly find what they’re looking for. Instead, retail wayfinding is increasingly being introduced, which helps create a unified environment with a convenient search for the right products.
Wayfinding in retail stores is an innovative digital system that helps facilitate store navigation. While previously shoppers could only navigate with physical signs or static store maps, the introduction of a new platform provides an interactive shopping experience. Using mobile wayfinding maps, customers can:
- quickly find any products, departments, and amenities;
- build short routes to point of interest;
- build an itinerary through the store based on the shopping list;
- receive information about discounts, sales, and bonus offers.
The platform is based on determining the location of objects. Special sensors are installed in different places of the outlet and send out signals at a certain frequency. Receiving devices capture these pulses and send them to the server, where they are processed and transmitted to users' smartphones. Depending on the technology used, the accuracy of the location calculation can range from 12 inches to 10-16 ft.
Navigation using a digital wayfinding map is a perfect fit for large retail stores. It can be integrated into supermarkets, malls, and smaller stores. After the platform is introduced into the infrastructure, the shopper only needs to use the mobile application on a smartphone to open a detailed map and build the desired route. The system provides convenient product search and increases customer satisfaction from visiting the store.
Benefits of mobile navigation maps
A mobile map for indoor navigation helps people better navigate large stores. It greatly facilitates shopping and provides many benefits for both customers and retailers.
Benefits for customers
- Reduced stress from searching for products and departments. Finding something in a large store can be challenging. Shoppers are forced to wander around the departments, ask the sales assistants for help, and waste their time. All this leads to stress and reduces loyalty to the outlet. Mobile maps effectively solve this problem. With them, visitors can search for products at their own pace and feel more relaxed, without any unnecessary anxiety.
- Obtaining accurate information about the location of points of interest/products. All information about products or points of interest is provided in real time. Thanks to the integration with inventory management systems, the platform is regularly updated, so the client receives accurate data on the availability of products, prices, and current promotions. If needed, the information is available in multiple languages.
- Increased safety for visitors with disabilities. Using wayfinding in retail stores, people with physical disabilities can shop comfortably. For them, routes can be developed that take into account elevators and ramps. Additionally, the platform notifies visitors of emergencies and provides directions to emergency exits.
Benefits for retailers
- Reduced congestion in popular store locations. The technology provides retailers with detailed traffic analytics to optimize product placement. Managers can keep track of the most crowded places and place products in a way to avoid hustle and bustle. All routes are built more rationally, and customers don’t bother each other and can move freely around the store.
- Increasing customer satisfaction and spend. Easy product search increases customer satisfaction when visiting the store. Customers no longer need to spend too much time shopping, can quickly find products on the list, and receive up-to-date information about the product range, which makes them more loyal to the outlet. In addition, the system ensures cross-selling and encourages people to make unplanned purchases, which has a positive effect on the average spend and increases profits.
- Easy to integrate and configure. The platform is easy to implement and manage. The installation of sensors is carried out by experienced specialists who accurately determine their optimal location and the required number, taking into account the area of the store. The software can be adapted to the needs of a particular store and can be scaled as the business expands.
- Obtaining analytics to optimize store space. The platform constantly collects information that has to do with the activities of the store. The system can build heat maps, determine the fact of visiting an outlet, provide data such as traffic volumes, segmentation into one-time and regular customers, and the impact of push notifications on user routes. Then, this information helps optimize retail space and organize effective advertising campaigns.
What you need to implement the system
To implement wayfinding in retail stores, a certain set of components is required. First of all, you need software that will work with data coming from the server. Additionally, you have to install hardware that is selected based on the technology used. Sensors (tags, beacons) and readers are placed within the store, and, if needed, wearable equipment such as tablets, smartwatches, or badges is used to calculate the location of staff.
To give you an example of the implementation and effective use of wayfinding maps, let's review a case that Navigine created for the Finnish supermarket chain KESKO. We were faced with the task of resolving issues with inconvenient navigation and large crowds of people in stores, providing a quick search for products and personalized advertising.
To carry out this task, we used Bluetooth® LE technology with a large number of beacons installed in stores. Specifically for KESKO, we created a complex navigation system, which included shopping carts with tablets. It was enough for the visitor to take a cart and type in the grocery list, and the platform immediately developed a suitable route and displayed it on the screen.
According to data, after the system was implemented, KESKO supermarkets showed a noticeable increase in sales. The brand awareness increased, and the average spend for each store increased by 6%. Moreover, the efficiency of marketing campaigns has significantly increased, since about 25% of shoppers followed the suggested routes.
Choose Navigine if you’re looking for high-quality smart navigation in retail stores. We develop innovative tools based on geolocation and offer effective software packages to enhance the features of mobile apps. To get more detailed information on the platform, please contact our team through the form on the website