When should you use digital wayfinding? A retail case study

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Placemarque recently conducted a wayfinding analysis for Royal Victoria Place, an indoor shopping centre in Tunbridge Wells. It’s a medium-sized mall of about 100 outlets plus a food court and its revamp is part of British Land’s refurbishment aiming to encourage more retailers as well as shoppers to the centre.

Good wayfinding can be the difference between shoppers viewing a mall as an efficient, opportunistic and dry place to shop – or a stressful, confusing hassle. It can also brand a space.

We want to reflect the high-quality environment and have recommended using digital totems with touch screens so that visitors can create bespoke journeys around the mall: from the car park to the key shops and landmarks– both inside and outside the mall. We want shoppers to see the mall as an integral part of a trip to Royal Tunbridge Wells – even if it is just cutting through to dodge the rain.

Digital wayfinding enables the shopping centre to update the shops as new retailers and food concessions come on board. And the Scala contact relationship management system enables retailers and the shopping centre management and communication team to provide news of sales and events which should increase the sense of opportunism that can accompany a trip to a mall. Another benefit is that the shopping centre team can track the most popular searches and make sure those stores or car parks are clearly sign-posted.

Digital wayfinding means we deal with different issues than with traditional wayfinding such as the right to privacy. When a visitor searches for a shop, how long should this search stay on the screen? We’re always happy to have new conversations.

Nicky Blanchard, centre manager at Royal Victoria Place, discussed the renovation plans:

“As part of the renovation project at Royal Victoria Place we have been working with Placemarque to enhance the public spaces at the centre, creating a high-quality shopping environment for local shoppers. In doing so, we want to strike the perfect balance between a fresh and welcoming space for our visitors while still celebrating the local heritage of Royal Tunbridge Wells.”

And just like Placemarque, Nicky wants to celebrate the unique nature of the locality.

“We are currently searching for a local artist to design and construct a new art installation for the centre. The installation is going to make a big difference to the look and feel of Royal Victoria Place and has been a great way of getting the local community involved in the renovation works. We’ve had some really impressive submissions already and the final decision is not going to be an easy one!

Our aim is to make it easy for users to find their current and desired destination and it seems that by collaborating with British Land and the team at Royal Victoria Place we can make the shopping centre a more desirable destination for proud retailers as well as the local community.”


If you’d like visitors to connect better with your place, get in touch to discuss how we can help, on 0161 241 3174

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