What is wayfinding and haw should you use it in your store?

Strzałka kierunkowa na ścianie to element wayfindingu

What is wayfinding and haw should you use it in your store?

Oct 14, 2021


Some retail outlets resemble a maze in which you can hardly find products? Moving around the store should be pleasant, natural and associated with relaxation. One of the elements that have a significant impact on it is wayfinding, i.e. the spatial navigation system. This concept covers alleyway markings, all kinds of tips for moving around and the location of a specific assortment. What is good wayfinding, and why is it worth investing in? This is what you will learn from this text.


A well-designed wayfinding is invisible to the customer


A well-designed system is one that comes naturally to us. Perfect, it will additionally emphasize the characteristic features of the brand and evoke positive associations in the mind of the customer, who will feel at ease while walking along the shopping aisles.


What can you use to create a spatial navigation system in your store? There are many possibilities, and their use depends on the size of the facility and how many roads you need to clear. The most popular elements of wayfinding include:

  • the arrows that guide the movement may be painted, stuck on or displayed by projectors;
  • inscriptions, for example, those that list the assortment available in a specific aisle, 
  • pictograms and icons, i.e. simplified graphics that are most often used to mark cash registers or toilets, 
  • diagrams, present in larger facilities, allow you to find out where we are and choose the fastest way to the selected point,
  • colors are used in the system to mark groups of products located in a designated area of the store or subsequent floors,
  • maps, including those in an interactive form, are a great solution for multi-level facilities,
  • vertical and horizontal marking, i.e. all kinds of boards and stickers, which - similar to road signs - help us find the right way.


Do you have to use all the elements of this system? Of course not. It all depends on what your store is and what the customer needs to find in it.



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What is good wayfinding?


Regardless of which elements of the system you use, remember that good wayfinding should meet 3 important features:

  1. visibility - messages must be visible to everyone. This means that they should be big enough for everyone to see, regardless of their height. 
  2. consistency - both texts and colors as well as the shape and form of signs (arrows, pictograms and icons) should contain common features. This not only looks professional, but also makes it easier to navigate once we get to know a specific system.
  3. readability - wayfinding is not an art competition. Creativity comes at a price, but only if every message is easy to read. So trust simple, intuitive shapes and a light font. Use colors according to our habits (e.g. red for prohibitions, etc.).


Why develop such a system at all?


Do you think wayfinding does not exist in your store? Nothing could be more wrong! It is possible, however, that you did not pay enough attention to it. It is worth refining it, because this system:

  • determines communication routes and determines the best way to move from the entrance to the cash register, 
  • helps in organizing traffic, especially for people who want to find something quickly,
  • designates zones where only staff can stay, allows you to organize work and back-up facilities,
  • designates escape routes, which must also be clearly marked,
  • allows you to easily orientate yourself in space,
  • strengthens the brand message.


Wayfinding w galerii handlowej



How to design a wayfinding?


In the basic version, wayfinding is limited to markings of alleys and safety signs (including emergency exits, prohibition signs and fire extinguisher markings). Larger stores and chains, on the other hand, like to play with space, use complex systems that further enrich the shopping experience.


If you are not a franchisee and no one imposes a vision of the store on you, you also have a lot of room to show off. Why is it worth taking the time to wayfinding with an idea?

  1. Because in this way you can give your store a unique character, e.g. emphasize what you specialize in.
  2. To be remembered by the client and encourage him to come back.
  3. To stand out from the competition.


Do you want to stand out? 


Probably the answer to this question is "yes". Being "one of a kind" is one of the best strategies for those hungry for success. Wayfinding, in turn, is such an element that proves a professional approach and careful preparation.


If you are just planning to open your store and are looking for devices that will emphasize the unique nature of your business, we are here to help. In our offer you will find cooling devices for various industries (including butcher shops, delicatessen, confectioneries, bakeries), which will allow you to create an ergonomic, customer-friendly space. We invite you to contact us and get acquainted with our offer.



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