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Getting the message
Published:  26 March, 2014

Visual messaging displays are key to managing traffic in shopping centre car parks and improving the customer’s experience. And they can now be used to tie in with social media, explains Harry Filer.

Bright visual displays with moving content have consistently been proven to get the message across and to create a stylish first impression. In the retail sector, the responsiveness of LED displays enables shopping centres and stores to offer a more personal and dynamic shopping experience from the point of arrival at car parks to shopping malls and in-store messaging.

Management of traffic and clear signage in town and shopping centre car parks is a vital element of the shopper trip. Difficulty getting into and around the car park or lack of information on parking space availability and excessive delays on exit can leave shoppers frustrated and unwilling to return.

A smooth transit with minimal queuing on the other hand may sway the decision on where to shop, especially during seasonal busy periods like Christmas. With the advent of social media adding to the power of word of mouth comments, creating a good impression on arrival may significantly affect reputations and a centre’s drawing power from the local catchment areas.

The world of car parking has changed dramatically over the past decade, driven by technological advances including systems management software and reductions in manufacturing costs. Basic static directional signs have given way to sophisticated LED display systems that not only indicate free spaces and queuing priorities but also include advanced features like number plate recognition. The latest systems can even remind the more forgetful among us where their car is parked.

Messagemaker displays design and make a wide range of cased LED displays for use in car parks or close distance traffic management applications. Offering manual or automatic brightness controls, its individually addressable signs range from standard text displays in a range of heights to full matrix text or numeric displays in single or full colour options.

Messagemaker also supplies LED modules for incorporating into other applications such as parking management systems. The computer-controlled system from Park Assist for example, which incorporates LED modules from Messagemaker, is designed not only to make parking easier for the customer but also to maximise capacity usage and cut operational costs.

LED displays can also be used to entice shoppers prior to entering the shopping centre itself through information about daily activities and events or special promotional offers on food or retail purchases.

The technology is changing and advancing all the time, offering new features and additional flexibility to shopping centres and retail outlets – Messagemaker for example has just released a new range of ticker signs that incorporates a Twitter feed, which encouragess increased interactivity with customers.

From entertaining and informing visitors to traffic management, LED display technology smoothes the way for shoppers while generating revenue for shopping centres.