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October 1, 2021

The importance of an effective wayfinding system

A wayfinding strategy can be defined as an integrated set of visual cues that aim to help people navigate their way through a specific venue or facility. While wayfinding signs are often directional by nature, their effectiveness can actually extend far beyond helping people get from point A to point B – from increasing sales to driving brand awareness, here are three reasons why your business should be implementing a wayfinding system.

Create sales opportunities

Ever wondered about the psychology behind IKEA’s layout? While their stores have been the subject of many urban myths, many people still subscribe to the idea that IKEA outlets are designed in a way that will make people get lost. While this theory isn’t completely accurate, IKEA’s actual strategy is just as interesting. Essentially, the Swedish giant utilises a complex in-store wayfinding strategy which encourages consumers to take a clockwise adventure throughout the whole store, and therefore view almost every product in the process. Predictably, this encourages impulse buying and results in a large number of people leaving the store having made a purchase that they didn’t intend to make.

It is important to note that IKEA does not force consumers to tour the whole store. While there are shortcuts available, the business banks on the knowledge that humans generally employ a herd mentality and will more often than not, just go with the flow. In essence, IKEA aim to exploit the flawed nature of humans. IKEA’s incredibly unique case is proof that a well thought out wayfinding strategy can be used as a means to drive sales.

Boost brand awareness and exposure

While wayfinding signage does serve a functional purpose, that isn’t to say that it can’t also add value to your brand. In this day and age many companies use wayfinding systems as a means of demonstrating personality, often through the use of infographics, fun messages, or even storytelling. By adding these extra elements to an otherwise purely functional piece of signage, brands have been able to build exposure, and differentiate themselves from competition.

While wayfinding systems may not be the most thrilling element of branding, they continue to be an effective tool that many businesses use to pursue target markets and build relationships with customers.

Promotes convenience and enhances simplicity

While convenience was once a shopping luxury, consumers now demand it as a necessity. With more people continuing to chase a wild, fast-paced lifestyle, it is unsurprising that 83% of consumers agree that convenience is more important now than it was five years ago. This statistic suggests that the modern business should be placing a big emphasis on creating a customer journey that is both frictionless and simplistic.

At its core, an effective wayfinding system can help decongest high traffic areas, and in turn, ensure that a business is able to consistently function at an efficient level. From the perspective of a consumer, this translates to a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience.

The bottom line

It is important to remember that the main purpose of a wayfinding system should always be to help people get to where they want to be. With this being said, the effectiveness of wayfinding systems can extend far beyond the functional purpose that they serve – as detailed in this article, modern wayfinding systems have the capability to drive sales, boost brand awareness, and promote a simplistic consumer experience.









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