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Retail Parking - A Waste of Space?

British drivers waste an average total of nearly four days a year looking for somewhere to park according to recent research.

Having to blindly hunt for a space can be like finding that famous ‘needle in the haystack’ and can become frustrating and time draining, risking making the overall shopping experience a negative one right from the start.

Latest figures show that the number of cars on England’s roads has risen by almost 600,000 in one year, and with the rate of car ownership still growing, many of our traditional shopping centre car parks are not purpose-built to accommodate the modern-day car. There is also the issue of high concentration of land use along with multiple land ownership which make them difficult and expensive to adapt.

Whether you’re an individual retailer, a retail park or a shopping centre operator and regardless if you offer free parking or paid for parking, you want to maximise the number of consumers in your store. To be able to win that battle for ‘convenience’ in consumer’s minds, the shopping experience you offer needs to be right, and in most cases where a physical location is involved, the shopping experience starts and ends with the journey to and from the store.

The reality here is that the approach to/from the area and the car park facilities on site represent the first and last touchpoints of the shopping experience. Get that wrong and you risk dramatically tainting the whole experience and with it, not only a customers attitude, actions and likely spend during their current shopping visit, but also endangering the likelihood, frequency, or duration of future return visits.

Conversely, get it right and not only will they keep coming back, the likelihood of the frequency of those return visits increasing, their average spends per visit also rises. Improving the utilisation of a car park by even one or two percent per annum can have a significant impact on the revenues and profits made at a given location. By constantly providing that positive experience, you remove those negative psychological barriers for visitors and that effect can snowball, bringing with it significant long-term customer loyalty. This directly translates to an improved bottom line; words that owners and investors love to hear.

What solutions can be offered?

We are experienced in designing intelligent parking solutions and can significantly reduce the frustration and time taken driving around trying to find a space, guiding drivers to spaces quickly and efficiently.

Giving drivers advanced information, such as signs located in and around the car park, guiding them to spaces quickly and efficiently is key - not just at the car park entrance, but as soon as the driver/s arrive into the town/city.

Combined with journey time data, this can provide invaluable information to the driver on car park space availability and how long it will take to reach that destination. Providing this advance information to drivers means traffic flows can be managed and queues can be controlled and minimised.

This type of information can be facilitated by our Insight® Parking software, which is an integrated solution designed to simplify the management, monitoring and analysis of parking assets. Combined with a range of sensors and signs, it provides a complete solution for all types of parking operators and environments.

The software will also provide real-time reports which can alert management of developing situations, such as vehicles overstaying time limits, patterns of use, or incorrect use of dedicated bays for certain user-groups.

Providing the user with the information to find a space quickly and efficiently means traffic flows can be managed and queues into car parks can be controlled and minimised, therefore reducing congestion.

Does your car park provide a negative or positive shopping experience? Call or email us to improve the customers experience right from the start.

Author: Marketing M |Date Published: May 2017

Links: Parking

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