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Christmas shopping – are you ready for the parking rush?

Christmas is coming and with it the start of the Christmas shopping rush and it’s one of those things you either love or hate. The mass of people all trying to find that elusive present for Auntie Dorothy and the inevitable chaos of trying to find a parking space along with thousands of others can be exhilarating or very painful!

So what can you, as a retail manager, do to help alleviate the parking problems that can occur when thousands of people decide to go shopping at the same time? After all, the quicker you can get the customers into the shops, the better it is for them, you and your retail outlets.

From the start it’s worth noting that parking solutions can be much more than just solving the way customers enter the car park and pay for their parking. Technology has moved on and a full parking solution can now be used to provide benefits to the operator of the car park, the users and the wider community at large.

Knowing who is using the car park, when they are using it and where the spaces can be found is all part of running a successful parking operation. This feeds into the successful operation of the retail space as it gains a positive reputation for easy parking as part of the overall shopping experience. A positive reputation coupled with a positive parking experience equals happier shoppers spending more money. Using sensor technology to deliver this insight is how we helped NEXT plc to take their shopping experience to new heights.

So back to our Christmas parking chaos. Much of the challenge of parking at Christmas is actually knowing where the available spaces can be found. Too many times customers can be found queuing into a full car park when there are spaces available at other locations. Providing this information to drivers at an early enough time in their journey means traffic flows can be managed and queues can be controlled.

This can be done through vehicle in / out counting of the spaces available and providing this information to the road uses via variable message signs (VMS) around the car park areas. Indeed, showing this information on the outskirts of the retail area or on the approach to the town or city (where possible) will provide customers with choices of where to head for the best chance of quickly finding a parking space.

Having a parking solution that is also able to monitor overstays and misuse of bays can provide additional ways to free up parking for customers. This can be done in real-time so that management of the car park can be both efficient and effective.

The better you make this experience, the more likely shoppers are to come back for those last minute gifts they forgot or to come again when the Boxing Day sales begin.

The Christmas rush is going to happen sooner rather than later, so let’s work together on ensuring your parking solutions are helping to give your customers as pleasurable an experience as possible.

Contact us to find out how we can help you give your customers the best parking experience.

Author: Michelle C |Date Published: September 2016

Links: Parking

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