Wayfinding is far from a new concept. After all, even our earliest ancestors would have used the stars and landmarks to find their way around. However, while we still use wayfinding today, it looks rather different now than it did in the past.
Instead of looking to the skies and natural features, modern wayfinding mostly involves using man-made signs. These signs can be used in various ways, such as letting people know where they are and the location of other destinations. However, while these signs are very useful, they tend to give generalised information that doesn’t tell users all they need.
What is needed is a more personalised approach that gives greater detail to its users, which is where digital wayfinding comes in.
What is Digital Wayfinding?
Digital wayfinding looks very much like traditional signage but on closer inspection, the product behaves very differently.
For one thing, digital signage is often interactive and users can directly ask questions, such as the location of a particular store. The interactivity is often helped with touch screen technology that makes the kiosks easy for anybody to use. The kiosk can then give the user precise answers to their questions, along with other useful information.
Not only that but digital wayfinding can also be placed in strategic locations that help make them clearly visible and easy to use. For example, they can be located near the entrance of buildings to help visitors as they arrive. The technology can also be durable enough for regular use, making it suitable for use in public places.
Why is Wayfinding Important for Businesses?
Wayfinding is important for business for several reasons, which include the following:
- Help People Find You: Potential customers can use digital wayfinding kiosks to help find your location. The technology can give more detail than traditional methods, making it easier for potential customers to find you. As such, more people are likely to visit your business, helping to boost revenue.
- An Excellent Marketing Tool: Digital wayfinding kiosks can be a potent marketing tool when used right. Get your message over quickly and easily to the right people, letting people know about promotions and other reasons to do business with you. For example, a digital marketing kiosk can allow users to ask which promotions are available on the day, helping to make your offers more visible.
- Make a Good First Impression: Digital wayfinding kiosks are usually professional looking and a pleasure to use. This will help to make a good first impression as well as draw people in to use the kiosks in the first place. It’s no secret that making the right first impression can make or break a deal, potentially helping your business in the short term and the long term.
- Digital Wayfinding Offers Flexibility: Digital wayfinding kiosks hold a significant advantage over traditional types of signage – flexibility. With traditional signage, the message is permanent, and you would have to replace the signage entirely if you have new promotions, etc. However, digital wayfinding kiosks are easily programmable, making it easy to change the message as and when you need. As such, running new promotions frequently and letting people know becomes far easier and less costly.
Which Types of Business is Digital Wayfinding Important For?
Digital wayfinding is important for a wide range of businesses and from all sorts of industries. However, there are some types of businesses that will find digital signage especially beneficial. A few examples of those businesses include the following:
- Shopping Malls: Shopping malls are an ideal location for digital wayfinding kiosks. Large malls can be difficult to navigate and all of us have found ourselves not knowing where to go at some point. Thankfully with digital signage, shoppers will now find it much easier to find their target. As a result, shoppers have a better experience and are more likely to visit your mall again in the future.
- Individual Store Owners: While digital wayfinding is important for malls, it’s also helpful for individual stores within the mall. For example, if more people can find your store then you’re likely to make more sales. In addition to helping potential customers find your location, digital wayfinding kiosks can also be used to let people know about any promotions you might have.
- Cinemas and Theatres: Cinemas and theatres can be big places that are difficult to navigate. This makes digital wayfinding important because it will help customers know where they need to go. In addition to improving the customer experience, digital wayfinding can also help drive more sales through marketing.
- Exhibition Centres: Exhibitions will usually consist of numerous stalls located in an expansive building, potentially making it difficult for visitors. However, again, digital wayfinding will help the exhibition’s visitors find the stalls and other information they need. And with the flexibility that digital wayfinding kiosks offer, the centre can simply reprogram the kiosks for each exhibition they hold.
- Museums: Museums are packed with fascinating artefacts and other attractions, but it can be very easy to miss something if you don’t know where to go. Of course, digital wayfinding can help ensure visitors don’t miss a thing thanks to clear directions. Digital wayfinding kiosks can also be educational, making them ideal for use in museums.
Above are just a few examples of the types of businesses or services that can benefit greatly from digital wayfinding. In most cases, they are understandably found in large complexes where they help visitors and shoppers find their way around. Having said that, many smaller businesses can also benefit from the marketing opportunities the technology presents.
Regardless, we can expect the technology to become increasingly beneficial to a wide range of business as the technology develops. And as the technology develops and becomes more affordable, we can expect to see it gradually replacing traditional signage where possible, and many businesses have already invested in the technology. And considering the rapid development of other technologies that could integrate with digital wayfinding, the technology could look very different again in the not too distant future.