Improving Washrooms to Boost Retail Experience

27 July 2020
A good washroom experience can really improve customer experience, and help to ease the public’s fears of using shared facilities as things go back to normal.

The impact that a clean washroom has on a customer’s retail experience is clear. The cleaner the washroom, the better the experience. And the better the experience, the more likely a customer is to hang around and return in the future. In contrast, a bad bathroom really puts customers off and they are far less likely to return. While this isn’t really surprising, what is surprising is how many ‘bad’ washrooms still exist. Think back to how often you have visited the washroom in a busy mall, only to find the soap dispenser empty, hand towels on the floor – or even worse, been greeted by a bad smell.

There have been numerous studies carried out to prove this fact, and time after time, a clean washroom rates very highly on how consumers rate their overall experience of a business. Studies show that bad experiences are one of the top things that people comment on when leaving negative online reviews, and research has shown customer washroom experience can directly impact the success of a business.

In a post-COVID world, the need to get customers back in the retail space, and encouraging them to keep coming back, is more crucial than ever. And as well as focusing on giving the public a good washroom experience to ensure they are comfortable as they return to malls, and keep coming back, retailers now need to guarantee one thing above all else, public hygiene and safety.

Smart Washrooms are addressing this need by using technology to operate washrooms at the highest possible standard and boost customer experience, through the use of real-time technology. We take a look at Smart Washrooms in detail, and how they are addressing customers concerns as they hit the shops once again.

Increased cleaning regimes

When a mall becomes busy, the washrooms quickly become overused and dirty. By monitoring real-time data on the number of people using them, Smart Washrooms allow the maintenance schedules of cleaning staff to be adjusted accordingly, ensuring they are always as clean as they need to be. For example, during a busy lunchtime rush in the food court, staff are notified of the increase in footfall and can focus on increasing cleaning of toilets in this area to keep up with the demand.

Decreased touchpoints

Sensor operated taps, flushes and hand towel dispensers all decrease the amount of surface contact between units and customers. But these sensors not only allow touch free operation, they can also be fitted to allow staff to remotely monitor levels of consumables. For example, if hand towels levels are running low, cleaning staff are alerted to exactly when and where they are low, and they can restock accordingly. This decreases the need for unnecessary visits and checks by cleaning staff and reduces surface contact.

A safe place to wash hands

Post-COVID, providing the public with access to a safe place to practice hand hygiene is essential. By not only ensuring that cleaning and disinfecting schedules are closely monitored and adhered to, the technology a Smart Washroom provides can make sure that soap levels are always well-stocked and clean hand towels are always available. Sensors on bins can tell staff when they are close to full, ensuring timely, regular disposal of used tissues. Temperature sensors on taps can also bit fitted which make sure the water is always running at the correct temperature. This can alert staff if a particular tap hasn’t been used for a long time, to prevent water stagnating and infections such as Legionella from developing.

Adhering to social distancing

We are all now aware of the importance of keeping our distance from others, and this rule needs to apply to restrooms too. While staying 2 meters away from other people may be easy in a large mall, it’s not so easy to achieve in the washroom. Technology can help with this. Real-time occupancy displays can be placed at the entrance to indicate the number of people that are using the facility at any given time. If too many people are using the bathroom, signs can alert the public and suggest an alternative washroom nearby.


Let’s face it, we are all impressed by nice interiors. Customers appreciate washrooms that expand their retail experience. A dated bathroom, not matter how clean it is, will always look dirty if the interiors are dated. There’s nothing more frustrating than a clunky paper towel dispenser that tears the tissue in two every time you pull on it. Modern, clean washrooms, which feature the latest in sensor technology, really do give a good impression. They show that a business has really invested in your experience and improve the overall customer experience.

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