10 Essential Features Indoor Wayfinding Adds to Your Shopping Mall App

November 8, 2018 by Jody Shaffer
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When it comes to building your shopping mall app, you have the option to use an off-the-shelf solution or to develop a custom app – both approaches have their pros and cons. 

By taking a cookie-cutter approach and using an off-the-shelf solution, you'll be able to put a shopping mall app in the hands of shoppers relatively quickly. However, that app is likely to disappoint in the long term, lacking the depth of features and scalability required to create a remarkable shopping experience and meet the expectations of today’s consumers.

Alternatively, you could develop an app in-house. If you take this course, you can either develop it completely in house, which would necessitate recruiting for specialist map digitization and indoor navigation skills, a process that takes time and resources, or leverage an existing, proven platform solution. In a fiercely competitive environment, where shopping malls are competing for foot traffic, the winners are innovative malls that are able to quickly transform the shopping experience.

Arguably the best option is the latter, to invest in an indoor location platform, which gives you the best of both worlds – a mapping SDK your development team or agency can use to add indoor mapping to your mobile app, providing seamless integration with a complex ecosystem of partners and technology and the ability to rapidly deploy robust indoor wayfinding solutions.

"Inpixon's robust mapping engine was able to seamlessly integrate with our complex ecosystem of partners and technology to help deliver the world class GGP shopping experience." – Scott Morey, EVP General Growth Properties

An indoor mapping engine gives developers and administrators the ability to rapidly deploy essential interactive wayfinding features, including:  

Advanced Map Display and Interaction

Developers need the ability to include features like 360° map rotation, the ability to zoom in and out of a place of interest, view-switching between floors, displaying surrounding streets and cartography, and the ability to style and shade maps to match your brand.

Content Management

Your indoor mapping engine’s content management system (CMS) should give you the level of granularity you need to interact with and alter your maps easily. Simply put, you need the ability to manage content and map data, across multiple properties, through a single interface thereby reducing the support and administration overhead associated with managing and deploying an app across multiple properties.

Turn-by-Turn Navigation

Shopping mall apps today demand the ability to integrate geospatially accurate maps with location-aware technologies, giving shoppers the ability to locate their position as a blue dot on their mobile device. This empowers shoppers to plan their route between the parking lot and stores, and navigate to their destination using turn-by-turn indoor navigation.

Geofencing and Proximity Messaging

Proximity messaging can be used to keep shoppers engaged during their visit to your mall by providing useful information about shopping mall events and hyper-relevant retail promotions. When combined with location-aware technologies, contextual messages can be delivered to shoppers based on their location, preferences, and other predetermined rules.

Intelligent Parking

Shopping malls can use intelligent parking management technology to connect the shopper’s experience from home to your mall. Create an intelligent parking solution through integration with indoor maps to get shoppers inside faster with less frustration, and reduce congestion around your mall.

Smart Search

Developers are able to configure your app’s search functionality to access external data sources, giving shoppers the ability to search by keyword and category. By enabling predictive search, shoppers are presented with suggestions based on historic search speeding up the search process.

Insights and Reporting

Mobile apps aren’t just powerful tools for improving shopper engagement - they give unparalleled insight into shopper behavior. While shopper traffic has been cited as one of the key influences in mall performance, this is mostly supported by anecdotal evidence as there is little in the way of verifiable data available on mall traffic data.

The combination of location-aware objects and mobile apps can help you collect this valuable data on traffic patterns in your shopping malls and provide relevant insights about your shoppers.

Asset and Resource Tracking

Use the combined power of high-fidelity indoor maps with data from an Indoor Positioning System (IPS) to track, analyze, and locate physical assets like motorized wheelchairs, equipment, and employees. You can then visualize the location of these key assets on a map gaining valuable intelligence and delivering real-time information that matters to users.

Infrastructure and Energy Management

Combine maps with your smart building software to simplify facilities management and maintenance for your team. Identify, collate, and categorize complex and disparate data on a map to reveal energy and infrastructure insights based on location. Maps make visualizing and addressing maintenance requests and energy inefficiencies simple and efficient for everyone on your facilities team.

Cost Effective Support and Maintenance

By investing in a scalable platform, backed by a dedicated product development team, you can be confident that your team will have access to the most advanced indoor mapping and navigation technologies, regardless of future technology shifts.

Using the Inpixon indoor mapping and location platform which is comprised of SDKs, APIs and a web-based CMS, a web or mobile developer can extend custom apps to consume the maps, data, and content managed in the platform. The Inpixon SDKs can also be easily extended to support custom functionality not provided by the core platform increasing the reach and value for clients.

Curious to see what this looks like in practice? Feel free to ask us about our work with top retail brands like Westfield, Brookfield Properties (formerly GGP), OneMarket, Steiner, Plaza Las Américas and more.

Learn how a fully integrated shopping mall app, leveraging advances in indoor mapping and location-aware technologies, can enhance a shopper’s path to purchase and affect incremental visits and spend at your shopping mall properties.

Updated November 8, 2018: This post was originally published on February 26, 2016 and has been updated  to incorporate new technology advancements and other relevant information.
Jody Shaffer is the VP of Marketing for Inpixon. Beyond her passion for marketing, Jody aspires to run a half marathon. She gets lots of practice chasing her two young daughters around the house.