More and more tools we use in our daily lives are becoming digitized.
Whether we’re utilizing contactless pay, ordering food online or managing bank accounts on mobile, nearly every business has incorporated digital functions to make the consumer experience more convenient.
Businesses have always used wayfinding to guide customers through their stores.
Just as digital tools have become increasingly present in our personal lives, they’ve become more and more important to businesses, too. Businesses are using new, digital tools to make finding products simpler for their customers. Let's take a closer look at how digital wayfinding can enhance the customer experience.
What is digital wayfinding?
Just like when customers use Google Maps to arrive at your venue, you can use digital wayfinding inside your venue to direct those customers more efficiently.
For large retailers and restaurant venues, wayfinding is an essential element of structural design. End caps, kiosks, hanging traditional signs and in-venue screens all work together to help customers find what they’re looking for.
Digital wayfinding uses visual displays to showcase important information that visitors can use for directional support. The displays can be signs that get mounted on the walls, be accessed on a smartphone or tablet, or even via a freestanding, touchscreen kiosk that's large enough to get your attention when you enter a venue.
The benefits of digital wayfinding
From a higher level of consumer engagement to an increase in customer satisfaction, offering digital wayfinding assistance results in perks and benefits that any company would have a hard time ignoring. Let’s dig into some of those perks.
Digital wayfinding can communicate more than just directions — it also enables variables that you don't get with basic static signs.
For example, digital kiosks can be programmed with key information relating to providers and services, in order to guide people to exactly what or who they are looking for. The menu for a medical center, for example, could include various search options such as bathrooms, exits, examination rooms, or medical departments.
Highlighting accessible routes and elevators, for example, can also make wayfinding as easy as possible for users with limited mobility.
There are many ways that a business can present relevant information on their digital signage. A 2D floor plan or a 3D map can easily provide searchable directories and event listings.
With a change in class schedule at a gym, or a change in room venue for an event, digital signage can be quickly and universally updated without the fuss of reprinting signs or maps, or having to continually redirect confused customers.
With options to organize information alphabetically, by date, floor, department, or in any way that best suits your needs, digital signage has the potential to provide a flexible overhaul to your existing systems.
Personnel or layout changes are a hassle no more - simply update your signage once, and have it take effect throughout the entire building immediately.
If you arrive at a place and you're unsure of where you're supposed to be, it can be stressful, especially if you have small children in tow.
With digital wayfinding, it's instant assistance — and it's interactive. Customers can find their way at their own pace. This can help make the customer feel like they're in control, rather than relying on others for directions or support.
Conforms to consumer expectations
Let's be honest: most people are on their phones all day, every day.
Whether they're booking flights, scheduling business meetings, ordering food, looking for information or shopping for clothes, they expect to be able to find almost everything online.
Companies that want to evolve with the times and generate or retain customers may be wise to conform to these internet-oriented expectations.
Providing digital signage that can be accessed via a kiosk, wall-mounted display or even on your customer’s own smart phone or device provides customers with a comfortable and familiar method of accessing information.
Printing out posters that need to be updated constantly is not only less eco-friendly than having digital signage — it’s also less cost-efficient.
While the costs will be higher upfront as you install your digital wayfinding devices, in the long run, you'll save more money. Unlike traditional, paper signage, these screens can be updated immediately, without cost, whenever you need.
How in-venue screens make wayfinding easy, safe and fun
Wayfinding techniques drive a better customer experience.
Businesses that leverage in-venue screens create the smoothest transition possible from door to destination for the customer. Not only does this decrease friction for your customer, but it tells them that your business cares about them and appreciates their patronage. Consider using your in-venue screens to direct customers to other parts of the store. For instance, a customer who enters looking for cold medicine may want to know where they can find tissues.
Wayfinding signage involves picking suitable materials, structures, colors, and technology. It should be attention-grabbing and beneficial to the customer. Functional doesn't equate to fun or creativity — the company must bring those elements to life in their wayfinding designs.
Incorporating company branding, taglines, or even mascots can be a fun way to personalize your digital signage. Targeted advertising, local news, or company-specific prize draws or competitions can also create a fun and community-oriented feel.
Who benefits most from digital wayfinding
While any business could stand to implement digital wayfinding, certain establishments may benefit more than others, since they are intrinsically difficult to navigate without them.
Places of education
Universities and colleges often use digital tools to assist visitors, students and vendors to get around the campus more efficiently. That is undoubtedly helpful for first-year students that are still getting used to the new environment.
Digital tools can also be a great asset for the various visitors to campus that may not be familiar with the layout. Everyone can locate dorms and teaching halls with ease by using digital signage and kiosks.
Healthcare clinics and hospitals
Hospitals with large campuses can utilize digital wayfinding to allow providers, patients and visitors alike to locate departments, wards and rooms.
This can be particularly useful when people need emergency medical assistance or have limited mobility — the last thing they want is to get lost!
Airports and transport centers
Airports are usually large and convoluted to navigate, with long stretches between terminals.
By implementing digital wayfinding, airports can reduce the stress associated with finding your flight. This may reduce the number of passengers missing their flights.
You'll find that many large retailers or shopping malls have freestanding digital wayfinding kiosks for assisting their customers in locating restaurants, stores or services that best suit their preferences.
Through employing wayfinding tools, customers can adjust to a mall or department store’s layout seamlessly. They can locate things that they need faster, which leads to a better experience and increases the chances that they will return.
Buildings owned by the government, such as DMVs and courthouses, employ digital wayfinding to help people easily locate the correct building or room in which they are supposed to be. This can avoid long queues at reception areas, and streamline the process for visitors and government officials alike.
Show customers where they need to go with UPshow
UPshow provides businesses with a high-quality in-venue interactive wayfinding, entertainment, and marketing platform that allows businesses to use their existing TV screens to offer an engaging digital experience for employees and customers alike.
Getting started is easy. We'll ship you a powerful and innovative device that will operate all of your content. All you have to do is plug the device into your TV, log in to your UPshow manager platform, and you're ready for business. To get started with facilitating digital wayfinding today, check out UPshow.