Metrics on digital signage projects aren’t always that easy to find – sometimes, I think, because the results are shrug-worthy – but here’s an example of interactive directories going into a mega-mall and making a tangible difference in how people find their way around.
The Mall of America in Minneapolis put in more than 100 digital directories in mid 2016 – using touchscreens driven by Aopen Chromebox appliances – with the aim of getting search times for guests doing look-ups for stores and services.
The project was put in by local wayfinding solutions provider Express Image. A case study done between Aopen and Express Image says the average search time for guests has dropped from over 3 minutes, using the physical directories, to less than 40 seconds, using the digital directories. The kiosks have logged more than 1.8 million unique interactions to date, and the data is being used to fine-tune the user experience and validate the mall’s new marketing initiatives.
The Express Image customized interface enables guests to search by name, category, and brand. With animated maps that show the route, as well as the time-to-destination, guests have the added option of sending text directions to their smartphones. The directories communicate in nine different languages and offer ADA-accessible routes.
To further cater to guests, the digital directories offer the option to text to their mobile phone a map view with step-by-step navigation – allowing the guest to live-text with a Mall of America digital concierge. The personalized experience of interacting with an individual through the digital concierge program differentiates the wayfinding experience with a longer, more dynamic engagement overall: guiding guests to discover new retail, entertainment, and dining options.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.