Directional Signs Need Help – How to Use Beacons to Rescue Mobile Users

Replace Directional Signs with a Wayfinding App and BeaconsDirectional signs are intended to rescue your visitors from getting lost or confused in a large building or outdoor area.  Wayfinding is a big priority for cities like Loveland Ohio for example, who recently invested nearly $116,000 in parking lot signage alone.

To enhance your wayfinding without spending a lot of money, use proximity beacons in a simple wayfinding app — and help your customers avoid wandering though a confusing maze of hallways and buildings.

With a trend in hospital renovations and upgrades, healthcare providers are constantly updating the walkways and driveways to their cancer wing, birth center entrance, ER parking garage, and more.  Often they need to completely overhaul their wayfinding strategy.  Using indoor and outdoor beacons is a quick and cost-effective solution, and here’s how they work:

Using Beacons with Directional SignsSarasota Memorial hospital wayfinding app

A beacon is a small Bluetooth device that can be placed along key points of your visitors’ routes.  Beacons trigger specific push messages from your branded app on their smartphones.

For a parking lot, street, or plaza, you can use Geofencing – a virtual “fence” you draw around various outdoor areas, which makes your app aware of your visitors’ entry, departure, and dwell times.

Users can be pointed to specific pages within your app and receive helpful location-based information.  Beacons are most useful when a person is within 50m; Geofencing works best for areas greater than 50m in radius and use GPS signals.

The Costs of Directional Signs

While signs are helpful for navigation, here are a few problems that beacon technology helps overcome:

  • Expensive to update.  According to Entrepreneur, it can cost $200-$600 to remove existing signs, $300-$800 to design, and thousands more to install depending on the type of sign (digital, etc.).
  • They disrupt traffic.  We’ve all been there, huddled around a crowded mall kiosk waiting for an opening.  While some wayfinding kiosks are capable of displaying marketing messages using proximity sensors, they disrupt the flow of traffic by requiring a user to stop and pay attention.
  • They’re easy to miss.  Depending on the location, signs may be difficult to locate depending on their size and placement.

5 Reasons to Use Beacons for Wayfinding:

  • Cheap:  Beacons cost $10-$15 a pop.  Building a wayfinding app, with MobileSmith, is cost-effective as well — we are already integrated with the market-leading proximity messaging platform!
  • Easy to install:  Drawing geofences and placing beacons inside your facility is literally one day’s work, and changes are easy to implement.
  • Efficient:  Touchscreen kiosks only allow one user per screen to touch and interact with them.  With branded apps that use beacons, any smartphone user can receive the same information whenever they are in range.
  • Customizable:  Beacons can be moved or rearranged easily, and push messages can be quickly customized for each location.
  • Good for your brand:  By incorporating a cool new technology in your branded app, you can wow your customers and engage them on a new level.

According to Forbes contributor Greg Petro,

“Through mobile beaconing, we will see the convergence of improved customer service, promotional strategy, and brand loyalty wrapped up into one single strategy, and not just in the retail space.”

Replacing Your Signs? Add a Wayfinding App with Beacons!

Updating your directional signage can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and take a considerable amount of time. With MobileSmith, anyone can create a mobile app that uses beacons and geofencing — all within a simple and easy to use interface.

You can rearrange beacons inside a facility, write and easily update your push notifications, add maps, photos, special offers – implement all kinds of customer engagement strategies quickly and cost-effectively.

Learn More About Beacons in Wayfinding Apps ->

 

 

By | 2016-11-18T14:56:30+00:00 August 11th, 2015|Blog, Mobile Strategy|0 Comments

About the Author:

Baxter Overman
Baxter is in charge of digital marketing at MobileSmith. He enjoys helping brands tell their story online and is a fan of Fender guitars.
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