Hamburg, August 26, 2021. Almost every day, our smartphone helps us find our way. Mobile navigation is standard – in normal road traffic. In Neumünster, Germany, you can use an app to navigate your way through the DIY store. Finding your way to the product you want: Shopping is also possible without detours.
The starting signal was given in July 2021, when the smartphone app “WIGGI hagebaumarkt” from C.J. Wigger KG Hagebaumarkt in Neumünster went live. Consumers can expect a whole new shopping experience – one without unnecessary paths. For example, if a customer is looking for saw blades for a pendulum jigsaw, he can open his app when he enters the store, enter the saw blades into the so-called product finder, and his smartphone will then guide him directly to the shelf in question. If the customer enters several products, the app calculates the shortest shopping route. Searching was yesterday, today we find – thanks to in-store navigation.
Precise route finding through the DIY jungle
This is made possible by an application from Hamburg-based locandis GmbH. Since 2018, its managing directors and founders Prof. Dr. Hans-Christian Riekhof and Stefan Brinkhoff have been active in the fields of real-time location systems and location-based marketing. Their idea: to help end customers in retail stores with large assortments to shop efficiently with precise in-store navigation. Turn-by-turn navigation is the name of this feature: users can see in real time on their smartphones where they are and how many meters they are from the items they are looking for. Basically, this works in a similar way to Google Maps. Inside buildings, however, the GPS signal is often heavily dampened, which is why common positioning systems fail here. This is why locandis has developed its own technology: Small transmitters called locators that use sensor fusion technology. Various sources of information are incorporated into the localization process, such as augmented reality and magnetic field information. Migratory birds also use the latter to reach their destination. The locators also work accurately: they guide the user not only to the right shelf, but also precisely to the product they are looking for. The installation work for the transmitters is minimal. For the first time, they have been installed directly in the DIY store’s lighting systems. Thanks to a strategic partnership with the manufacturer InnoGreen, the Locator is part of the LED luminaire. A practical side effect is that maintenance work is reduced because the power supply for the transmitters is ensured via the luminaires.
Location-based services: Important information in the right place at the right time
The fact that in-store navigation could well be met by open doors among hagebaumarkt visitors is proven by customer surveys such as the one conducted by Portuguese grocery retailer Sonae Distribuição in January 2021. 65 percent of respondents said they would be willing to regularly use a mobile app that helps them find the products they’re looking for while shopping. Corona is expected to boost those numbers. In the pandemic, efficiency is the order of the day: fast shopping, little on-site communication. Time is a valuable resource. That was true even before Corona. Keyword digitalization. Internet commerce has set new standards in customer centricity. People who shop at the well-known platforms quickly find what they are looking for and also receive individualized offers. Inevitably, stationary retail has to compete with this, especially when the product range is large. The hagebaumarkt in Neumünster in Schleswig-Holstein stocks around 60,000 items, so customers can easily lose track of what they’re looking for.
“Our experience shows that in-store navigation is particularly attractive for retailers with complex product ranges and areas of around 3,000 square meters or more. Our customer projects prove the resulting additional sales with more relaxed customers staying longer in the store,” says Hans-Christian Riekhof.
Employees could also benefit from indoor navigation: They would have more time for customer discussions that require a lot of consultation. Christian Wigger, managing director of several Hagebaum stores in Neumünster, has high hopes for the locandis app:
“Our goal is maximum customer satisfaction. With location-based marketing and in-store navigation from locandis, we awaken latent customer needs and reinforce conscious needs – and do so at the right moment and in the right place.”