A Belgian shopping centre is introducing a navigation tool based on Augmented Reality (AR), which shows shoppers the quickest way to the shops. The app will be tested extensively in the coming weeks.
According to Wijnegem Shop Eat Enjoy, Belgium’s largest shopping centre, the new navigation tool is a European first: the app will show customers the quickest way to shops in the shopping centre in seconds. "You no longer have to look up your favourite shop on a plan or ask the information desk for advice. The navigation tool shows you the quickest way in a single click and guides you there. It is a kind of Waze," says communication manager Zsofi Horvath.
The app will enable customers to shop faster, more efficiently and more safely. During development, special attention was paid to user-friendliness, so that wheelchair users and visitors with pushchairs can also use it. Incidentally, it is not only possible to search by name of a shop, but also by category, such as shoes, books or toys.
Improve shopping experience
Wijnegem is convinced that the app will be useful even after corona. After all, due to its 74,000 m² and 250 shops, an average of 218 shoppers ask for directions to the toilets every week. "We are always looking for things that can improve our customers' shopping experience," says Horvath. "In these times, unfortunately, this can't be done through fun, unique events, but through extensive general service. And we are doing the latter more and more digitally as well".
Anyone with a recent smartphone can already use the AR application. Owners of older smartphones have to make do with a mapped out route on a map. The shopping centre emphasises that this is an extension of its services. All existing route planners and information screens will be retained, and visitors will still be able to visit the information desk.