The Evolution of Mall Wayfinding
For decades, malls have served as a one-stop-shop for consumers to flock and frequent, taking advantage of all the deals every store and outlet has to offer. And despite the recent obstacles malls have had to hurdle in recent years in regards to the pandemic, their importance hasn’t waned over the years either. Regardless of lockdowns and other public health-related mandates, malls operating in the U.S. experienced an immense rebound in attendance in late 2020 after an initial dropoff in the spring and summer, with mall traffic numbers climbing to near 2019-levels of attendance.
As malls continue to rebound from the pandemic, the need for creating a unique and accommodative shopping experience for consumers has increased tenfold. But what is it that makes a mall truly stand out as a consumer experience in paradise rather than just your average, run-of-the-mill shopping center? One of the distinguishing features every mall (hopefully) incorporates into their daily operations is an intricate, accessible, and interactive wayfinding signage system.
Mall wayfinding has progressed tremendously from its initial origins. Back in the day, the sheer sight of digital signage was enough to stop shoppers in their tracks to inspect the holographic spectacle. But nowadays, innovative mall wayfinding stations and displays are essentially the norm, and the future of these digital navigational resources continues to rapidly evolve.
While new technologies continue to change the way shoppers utilize their surroundings at the mall, it’s important for mall managers to know what wayfinding resources are available to them now and in the future, to help create the ultimate user experience possible.
Here’s a closer look at pinpointing the recent evolution of mall wayfinding, as well as the various technologies and trends that are shaping its future.
Once industries began to realize the branding opportunities digital wayfinding systems could provide, the personalized connection between consumer and retailer has continued to strengthen.
With effective mall wayfinding strategies, interactive branding is more accessible than ever, through a variety of digital signage solutions that market your mall’s logo, colors, message, products, services, etc.
Wayfinding displays also promote interest in all the stores, outlets, and retailer’s brands that inhabit the mall, encouraging shoppers to learn more about the places they shop at, as well as find new destinations to explore and do business with.
Today’s malls shouldn’t be merely shopping facilities that host a number of popular stores and brands; They need to develop a strong connection with their shoppers that promotes comfort and confidence, influencing them to keep coming back. The ways that digital wayfinding systems have improved engagement between consumers and businesses is practically unrivaled.
These digital signage resources invite shoppers to utilize a number of navigational and informative features, ranging from:
● 3D, animated navigational mapping for improved wayfinding
● Direct marketing of social media platforms
● Membership reward programs for exclusive discounts or offers
● Multilingual and closed-captioned options to accommodate more shoppers
● QR-code scanning displays for promotional opportunities or email signup
The more wayfinding options you can make available for customers to utilize, the higher engagement levels your mall will start to experience.
Nothing has changed the landscape of digital wayfinding signage quite like the integration of smartphone technology.
Through mobile app development services, malls can create wayfinding applications for their shoppers, which in turn creates a more customized shopping experience that, more often than not, will increase the amount of time shoppers spend at any given store or department.
Consumers are downloading smartphone apps at record rates, with the average U.S. consumer using at least 10 mobile apps a day, and an estimated 30 different apps per month. The more customized you can make the shopping experience for your customers through developing a mobile app, the more comfortable and willing they’ll be to connect with your brand and spend more money shopping.
In addition to promoting brand awareness and customer engagement, perhaps the most useful resource digital wayfinding systems can equip malls with are all the detailed analytic reports they can provide.
When shoppers download your mall’s custom mobile app, you can gain access to a variety of insightful data, from how much time they’re spending shopping at your mall, to which discounts, promotions, or QR codes they’re actually engaging with.
These revealing details give you more awareness as to what marketing strategies are successful with your shoppers, allowing you to make more informed business decisions.
What Can Digital Wayfinding Systems Do For Your Mall?
The bottom line is that we’ve come a long way from digital wayfinding signage systems being more visually stimulating versions of advertising.
When you need new solutions to better engage with your customers, Oppna Digital is here to equip you with the custom wayfinding strategies that will unlock your mall’s customer service potential!
Contact us today to learn more about how we cater to your industry’s customers, or call us at 651-237-5677 for immediate assistance.