4 tips to design an indoor play area to deal with declining visitor numbers
How do you deal with the trend of declining traffic in physical stores? ABN Amro's retail 2020 and 2021 sector forecast shows that the bank expects that retailers will continue to struggle in the coming years due to the popularity of e-commerce.
Retailers need to reinvent themselves <...> Around 55 percent of consumers orientate themselves online before making a purchase in a physical store.
said ABN sector economist retail and leisure Paul Metzemakers. He advises retailers to improve the customer experience in order to increase the chance of retention visits. How does an indoor play corner fit into this picture? And what should you take into account?
There are several ways to enrich a visit to your establishment and a kids' corner is an excellent example.
Nowadays, the expectations of visitors are much higher when it comes to their customer experience in your business. In addition, price and product are becoming increasingly subordinate to how your visitors experience your services. A kids’ corner contributes to a positive customer experience in your store, for both young and older visitors.
A play corner works well in any sector
Playing is universal. Child's play is the same in every country and culture. The effect of children playing is also the same all over the world: happy children result in happy parents.
These happy parents are your customers or visitors, who can devote more time and attention to your product or advice because their children are playing.
For example, in a car showroom, satisfied children ensure that your sales team can give an undisturbed sales pitch. In supermarkets, a play area will lower the threshold for parents to take children with them during their weekly trip to the grocery store.
How can you create the perfect kids' corner for your establishment? Read our four tips to design an indoor play area. The key elements for the ideal play corner remain the same for every organisation.
Tip 1 for designing your play area: entertainment for kids of all ages
In the first ten years of our life, we develop rapidly. The trick for you is to create a play corner with fun activities for different age groups. This way, you offer entertainment for three and four years old, but also for their older siblings.
While your youngest visitors will certainly enjoy themselves with a beads table, you might have to add more challenging activities for the older children. For example, furniture store Möbel Hesse decided to focus on younger and older children by creating a perfect mix of climbing structures, wall games and digital screens.
Tip 2 for designing your play area: Provide a recognisable kids’ corner
Naturally, it is important that your play corner is recognised by children and that the kids' corner appeals to them. By placing one or more recognizable areas, you will encourage children to start playing.
Children love colour and to appeal to children, colour is often used in children's toys. These colourful play modules can sometimes be more difficult to integrate into your establishment.
This quickly becomes easier when you choose colours from your own corporate identity. Moreover, you can add common aspects from your product range into the play concepts. Consider, for example, incorporating tools into the design for a kids' corner in a DIY store. Or adding a sandwich theme in the play area of a lunchroom.
Due to the personalised look and feel, your youngest visitors will always recognise the play area. This will help them to form a positive association with your organisation from an early age.
Tip 3 for designing your play area: : Safety first
In addition to fun, safety is also an important aspect of any play area. For instance, when it comes to a safe height for play concepts and reducing the number of loose parts and the effort required to clean the concept.
There are several labels that indicate the safety of products. This makes it easier for you to guarantee the safety of your play corner. Products that meet the European EN-71 standard are guaranteed to be safe.
For illustration, it is mandatory to add a shock-absorbing play floor if there are climbing elements in the kids’ area that exceed a height of 60 cm. Shopping centre Marktplatz seized this opportunity to extend their kids' play corner with an EPDM floor full of playful elements.
Since an EPDM floor is made up of small rubber granules, it is possible to easily incorporate figures and logos into the floor. Making an EPDM floor not only safe, but also a lot of fun!
Tip 4 for designing your play area: Take hygiene into account
Hygiene is an essential consideration when designing a play corner for children. The play concepts can therefore be coated with a protective, antibacterial paint. This paint leaves no chemical traces and makes it more difficult for bacteria, fungi and algae to stick to the surface of the play modules.
In addition to the paint, it is desirable that the kids' corner does not contain any loose parts. This will save your staff tidying up and cleaning. It is also a lot safer for playing children.
Wondering how other business-owners have set up their play corner?