Traffic Flow Enhances the Visitor Experience

This will be a 3-part series to help centers around the world think differently about the space they occupy and how visitors perceive the experience. By improving the traffic flow in visitor centers, it enhances the visitor experience. 

Let’s start the first part as flow.  Your customers must move around the center to find what they need, see how you can connect them to your space, and provide them with easy ways to engage with your product. In destination and visitor centers, you have to use different tools to tell the story of your product as it’s not clear, or maybe one dimensional.

Questions and tools need to be easy to manage and accommodate, but what makes the experience pleasant? The answer to this question will vary based on your target demographic, but several foundational elements are true of any retail experience.

These are some ways to enhancing visitor engagement regardless of what you sell.

  • The decompression zone: This is the entryway of your storefront, typically about the first 5 to 15 feet of retail space. Essentially, your customer crosses the threshold from the outside world into your store, and that transition should be smooth and engaging.
 
  • The right side: In North America, 90 percent of customers turn to the right when they enter a retail store. For many retailers, the right-hand wall is called the power wall because it is the first flat surface customers encounter. This can serve as a high-impact area for your products, so creating an appealing display of your merchandise and services here is important.
 
  • The path: Once a customer is in your store, whether they’re simply browsing or looking for a specific item, you have the power to guide their journey. You can guide them through particular sections of your store based on popularity, price point, or association with each other.
    • VIC’s consider easy areas of marked interest, if you are using brochures of information, have an overview posted to help them see what is offered.
      • Consider digital options, with itinerary builders that easily provide information by interest, and can create favorites lists and things to do while they are in an area.
 

Over time, pay attention to which areas have more popular products because you may change the path based on what your customers are most interested in. To optimize space perception and experience , you also do not want to appear to force them in a specific direction. Instead, use racks or shelves of items, furniture, and information stands to guide them without seeming too pushy.

Typically, this path moves counterclockwise in North America based on customers turning to the right immediately after entering a store. You can make this path more appealing by changing the color and texture of the floor, and you can guide the customer’s eyes to specific areas with bright colors, arrangements of certain items, or prominent but attractive information displays.

  • The customer’s pace: While you want your customers to follow a specific path around your store, you typically want them to do so slowly. This way, they can browse your items, encouraging them to purchase more. Even if they do not pick up additional products, the aesthetics of different display areas can lighten their mood.
  • Enough room: Customers do not like feeling cramped or crowded. It is important to make sure your aisles and display areas are big enough for several people. You may include a strategic bench or two or a seating area if you have enough space.
  • Checkout: Your checkout counter needs to be in a highly visible location. If the average customer in the United States turns to the right and you create a circular route around your store, you may assume that the best place for the checkout counter would be to the left of the door. However, this is not necessarily true, as it can depend on how much space you have, how you must divide up your store, and even where certain support structures like beams are located.
  • VIC Information Desks: Consider a clear path to the desk, and have specific information, mapping, and ways to easily help them navigate, while making recommendations.  Although we won’t get into this blog, consider your questions and ways to learn more about your visitors. For some retail spaces, having the counter in the middle of the store or at the back, across from the entrance, makes the most sense. You can also display low-cost product displays near the cash register for customers to pass as they approach the line. Many businesses place small impulse purchase items close to the register. But even peppering the end of the path with several small, colorful displays can lead to additional purchases.
  • Walking through it: Test it once you’ve created a space you think works. Walk through it yourself, and start by turning to the right. Ask friends and family to come in and try it, offering feedback about their movements through the space, how they feel in certain areas, and if everything feels convenient and pleasing.

 

Mental & Emotional Customer Experiences to Keep in Mind:

 

Once you have defined the zones and displays in your store and tested the walking path, there are still some notes to remember to keep your customers happy.

  • Keep everything spotless. One survey found that a third of shoppers avoided a business because it appeared dirty from the outside.
  • Create a sense of opening or expansiveness. For example, some stores cut windows or holes in walls separating rooms, so the space feels larger.
  • Keep it clean. The fashion designer Coco Chanel famously advised fashionistas to look in the mirror before leaving and remove one item from their outfit. Do the same with your retail displays to visually declutter them.
  • Add pep to displays. Use something other than traditional shelves or racks to display items. For example, if oak barrels are potentially on brand for you, use these to create a visual texture for your display.
  • Stay modern. Digital features, like brand information scrollable on an Interactive Kiosk or a digital display/videowall, can enhance your customers’ emotional ties to your brand since they have directly interacted with it in some way.

As we get into other aspects you may want to consider for your visitor locations, we can continue to pull from retail but also define things that are unique in our industry.  Ultimately, understanding traffic flow enhances the visitor experience. If you are considering a renovation or looking at ideas to increase engagement, reach out True Omni has options for design renderings, and flow pattern review that can help guide you as you look to get approvals or meet with other interior design firms.   This isn’t just about aesthetics, it’s also about the use of technology and ways to have a balance between touch and tech.   

To learn more about media networks and ways True Omni can help you step into this field for your travel or hotel organization, contact us by email info@trueomni.com or call 888-334-6664 to get a free consultation.

Related Posts

Case Study
Eunice Artus

Little Rock

Little Rock, Arkansas’ capital, blends rich history and modern amenities along the Arkansas River. Notable attractions include the Clinton Presidential

Read More »
Case Study
Eunice Artus

Somerset County

Somerset County Tourism showcases a wealth of attractions, including historic sites like the Wallace House and Van Horne House, cultural

Read More »
Uncategorized
Arturo Eternod

Visit Pittsburgh

Upgrading interactive experiences for leading hospitality, travel, and retails businesses TrueOmni is the go-to solution for businesses that need an

Read More »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find out how your organization can benefit

1,000+ businesses are delivering better customer experiences, increasing revenue, or saving costs.