8 Minute Read | By: Mappedin
In this article, we explore the different ways that digital wayfinding can be used to improve satisfaction among your visitors.
GPS has largely solved the problem of getting lost outdoors. If you need to grab something from a nearby store, you can check Google Maps to see where it’s located – if you want driving directions to a specific area, Waze guides you from start to finish.
But if you need help navigating an indoor space – say, an airport or a mall – GPS technology won’t work. That’s where indoor digital wayfinding solutions come in.
From retail to aviation, almost every industry could benefit from implementing digital wayfinding in their physical locations. In this article, we’re going to explore the different ways that digital wayfinding can be used to improve satisfaction among your visitors and consumers.
Digital wayfinding uses indoor mapping software like Mappedin to create accurate, interactive maps of a specific area. These indoor maps can then be used by visitors to find exactly what they need, whether that’s a particular store, product, or amenity.
Digital wayfinding maps are most often seen in large establishments with high foot traffic – malls, university campuses, airports, museums, and theme parks all over the world use interactive wayfinding to guide their customers through an otherwise difficult-to-navigate space.
There are a few ways to integrate this technology into the customer journey. You can create a custom web app that users can access through their mobile devices, allowing them to find information in real-time. Additionally, you can implement interactive kiosks and digital wayfinding signage that can be placed on location, increasing customer touchpoints with your brand.
The main draw of digital signage and wayfinding apps is that customers can get directions and information easily. Below, we discuss the 7 ways that digital wayfinding makes the visitor experience better and increases customer satisfaction.
The more a customer interacts with your brand, the more likely they are to connect with it. Interactive wayfinding allows users to pinpoint their exact location and navigate through unfamiliar spaces, which then helps familiarize themselves with the environment. It also encourages them to explore your establishment, allowing them to discover new places that they otherwise might have missed.
Customer interaction is also crucial to closing a sale. Every interaction is an opportunity to promote what you’re selling. To encourage your customers to remember your business, you can incorporate logos, promotions, and other marketing assets in your digital signage. This is great for upselling within the store or cross-selling with other brands; not only does the digital wayfinding system convince them to spend more, but it also gives them the directions they need to find (and make) that additional purchase.
When you provide your customers with a way to find product or location information quickly, you reduce their stress and increase the likelihood of spending more time and money in your establishment. Furthermore, integrating interactive digital maps on your website or social media can increase customer interaction even before they set foot in your physical location, so that they’re ready to make a purchase as soon as they get there.
Customers are attracted to businesses that provide them with extraordinary experiences. If you can design digital wayfinding that addresses customer needs and provides in-depth information, you’ll find that visitors will keep coming back to your business.
Indoor mapping solutions can create immersive virtual tours of all the places customers want to see. This assures them that, whether they want to browse leisurely or run a quick errand, they’ll be able to find what they need instantly.
Some wayfinding platforms also allow you to offer special discounts to customers who access your interactive maps on their mobile devices. Personalized promo notifications can be programmed so that they trigger when a user is in a specific location, encouraging visitors to take advantage and try a new brand.
The bottom line is that interactive wayfinding makes the customer journey significantly less stressful (and may even incentivize it), which makes customers more likely to choose you over a similar establishment that doesn’t have it.
Digital wayfinding creates unique opportunities for the personalization of the customer journey that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
One of the downsides of static advertising is that every customer gets the same information. Most likely, they will learn about popular hotspots and other generic places of interest. But when you personalize the customer journey and the messages they receive from your business – by offering tailored recommendations, for example – you generate more interest and increase customer satisfaction.
With the indoor positioning technologies of digital wayfinding, you are able to collect accurate data on the end-to-end visitor journey. This allows you to make customized recommendations for your visitors based on their visit history, searches, and frequently-visited locations.
On a grander scale, you can even combine customer preferences with long-term data about historical user location information, creating a bespoke experience even for first-time visitors. You’ll also get valuable information and analytics about user behavior that you can use for your marketing efforts, and to identify which areas and products are most engaging. For example, if the customer has mapped to visit your sports equipment section, you can consider delivering promotional messages for sportswear and other related items.
A great way to showcase your digital wayfinding platform is through digital signage. You can use digital signage to highlight updates, news, the weather, and more.
For example, airport signage informs people about their flight status, boarding gate, and any delays. In grocery stores, customers will be able to see currently available products and where they can be located. Even the individual products themselves can get their own feature.
If you have a clothing store, visitors will enjoy being able to browse your inventory, view outfit recommendations, and find the design they want in their size on your interactive wayfinding screens.
Digital wayfinding maps and interactive digital signage will be especially useful for parking lots or cinemas. Available slots will show up on the interactive app or site, helping visitors find a spot as soon as possible. The amount of information you can display in digital signage is endless, especially since you can update them virtually instantly.
Another often overlooked benefit of digital wayfinding is that it can be used to alert people of emergencies and give them directions to exit the establishment or go to a safe location.
Sometimes, it can take a long time before users find the information they’re looking for on web directories, social media pages, and help kiosks. If visitors can’t find good directions online, it can potentially ruin their overall customer experience, affecting your foot traffic, visibility, and overall revenue.
This is why it’s crucial to explore different options that empower customers to assist themselves. Traditional kiosks in malls, museums, and amusement parks provide directions to nearby places of interest. When customers use these kiosks, they have to memorize directions, running the risk of getting lost anyway.
But today’s digital interactive maps take it a step further. With mobile-powered wayfinding design, customers will be able to navigate your facility on their own. Best of all, this wayfinding method is absolutely paperless!
Instead of just using a static touchscreen display for map information, users can simply use their smartphones as apps show them exactly where to go. Their “blue dot” moves along with them, giving them accurate real-time data. These digital wayfinding systems allow customers to reach their destination faster and with fewer detours.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of wayfinding maps is that they’re extremely convenient for users. Many tasks, such as inquiries about products and services, that would otherwise require the assistance of staff, can be delegated to the wayfinding app or digital signage.
Inclusivity measures are often integrated into digital wayfinding design, making navigation more accessible to more users. Persons with disabilities, in particular, are more empowered to move around your establishment. There may also be multiple translation options for users, which allows tourists and immigrants to make the most out of your space in spite of the language barrier.
Omnichannel mapping provides your visitors with multiple points of contact with a business. By integrating your interactive wayfinding maps on different devices and software platforms, customers will have a unified and cohesive digital experience.
You’ll want to implement digital wayfinding across information kiosks, responsive design mobile sites, and web apps. This way, visitors will be able to choose which solution fits their needs best at that moment, and they’ll be able to move seamlessly from one interface to another if their needs change. Plus, some visitors will only want to use the on-ground signage while others will rely entirely on mobile channels – having both means that you’re catering to as many customers as possible.
Omnichannel mapping also has the advantage of providing unique data about the customer journey. The data shared by customers through their devices will allow companies to create personalized experiences for each user. You also get insights as to where users are starting their journey, even outside the venue, and how they end it.
Incorporating digital wayfinding into your space isn’t easy. It requires an investment in different technologies, from indoor mapping to UX/UI design and more. And if you have a company do it for you, they’ll need to evaluate your location to help you develop the right strategy for your venue or business.
An indoor mapping provider is your best bet for the best results. They’ll have the expertise necessary to create and automate your indoor maps, as well as integrate your existing software tools and APIs with their own mapping solution.
First, assess your needs as well as the needs of your customers. A mall or retail space will have different wayfinding and mapping requirements compared to an airport, for example. You’ll also want to think about the different wayfinding options that may be relevant to your business, from interactive help kiosks to QR code scanners to even SMS marketing.
When you’re ready to make the switch, take a look at our article on how to select an indoor mapping solution to help you decide on the right digital wayfinding provider for you.
Interactive maps make the visitor experience significantly easier, more convenient, and more fun. Digital wayfinding is designed to address a diverse range of user needs, taking your customer service to the next level.
While every physical location will have different indoor mapping and design needs, a flexible digital wayfinding provider will be able to adapt to your current situation while being ready to scale for more users and more features as necessary.
With almost a decade in the indoor mapping industry, Mappedin is the ideal partner for your digital wayfinding needs. We can help you develop dynamic, interactive experiences that delight your customers while building a digital indoor mapping foundation that can grow with your business.