Smart parking in shopping malls: a lever for boosting revenues and quality of service during sales and peak periods

Delaunay Ethan

Mobility Expert

Table of contents

Cocoparks develops and deploys the benchmark solution for intelligent traffic and parking management


During busy periods, one of the key challenges for shopping centers is parking. This has a direct impact on visitors’ stress levels and their willingness to spend. Moreover, shopping centers generate more than half their annual sales during these busy periods. Here we share with you the challenges of optimizing parking during busy shopping center periods.

1. Sales and busy periods in hypermarkets: 5 major annual periods

These periods are often marked by peaks in visitor numbers and sales. Weekends, school vacations and public holidays are among the peak periods. In addition, sales periods, holiday seasons and special events such as product launches or promotions attract large numbers of visitors. During these times, shopping centers need to effectively manage customer traffic, queues and security to ensure a smooth and pleasant experience for all visitors.

Winter Sale

The first Saturday of the winter sales is the busiest day, attracting massive crowds in search of big discounts.

Summer Sale

Similar to the winter sales, the first day and the following Saturdays of the summer sales see a sharp increase in the number of visitors. Consumers looking for the best deals of the season.

Black Friday

Imported from the USA, Black Friday, which takes place on the last Friday in November, attracts large crowds because of the exceptional discounts offered by retailers.

Super Saturday

The last Saturday before Christmas, known as “Super Saturday”, is extremely busy. Consumers are rushing to make last-minute purchases.

Back to School

The weeks leading up to the start of the school year see a marked increase in shopping mall traffic. Families buy school supplies and clothes for the new school year.

During busy periods, parking is a major challenge for consumers. Parking is therefore a key issue.

2. What are the financial implications of parking management and rotation during peak periods?

The challenges of smart parking during peak periods

The financial management of parking lots and vehicle rotation during busy periods is a crucial issue for shops and town centers. Reducing the time it takes to find a parking space frees up spaces more frequently, enabling more customers to access stores and restaurants. This increased availability not only stimulates planned purchases, but also increases the amount of time devoted to purchasing.

Figures and financial impact of smart parking

By optimizing the time it takes to find a parking space, studies show that parking lot managers can increase turnover, and have between 0.5 and 1 more visitor per parking space. On a parking lot with 1,000 spaces, this can mean up to 1,000 extra visitors per busy day! Efficient, intelligent parking lot management during peak periods therefore has a direct impact on shopping center sales. This measured impact is between 1% and 2% of the shopping center’s annual sales.

3. Solutions for optimizing mall parking during sales

As a result, shopping centers are deploying strategies to optimize their parking, but also to ensure that customers can find a parking space quickly. Just like in Lourdes. Ultimately, they will be able to welcome more visitors to the mall, helping to boost sales.

Some examples of strategies are given below:

1. Traffic control personnel

First of all, it’s possible to manage the flow of visitors by positioning dedicated personnel to regulate traffic. The purpose of these agents is to direct drivers to free spaces. They reduce the waiting time to find a place.

On the other hand, this solution involves labor costs. What’s more, it’s difficult for these agents to see all the available seats and guide the flow of customers to the seat closest to them.

2. Opening of temporary parking lots

Temporary parking lots are also an alternative solution where possible. They absorb excess traffic during busy periods. They can be installed on vacant lots near shopping centers. In fact, temporary parking lots help to smooth traffic flow and reduce visitor frustration.
However, such developments may require a permit. What’s more, they’re not necessarily secure and visible.

3. Traditional parking sensor: ground sensor

These are sensors installed and flush-mounted or glued onto parking spaces: see our complete guide to parking sensor technology. They will transmit this information to concentrators, and the information can then be broadcast to drivers via dynamic signs.

However, the installation and maintenance of these devices is very costly. Most of the companies manufacturing these systems have gone bankrupt, including OneSitu and SmartGrains. It should also be noted that Bosch has stopped producing these ground sensors too. Finally, if the parking lot has to be renovated, the investment in the sensors is lost, as they will no longer be usable.

4. New-generation smart parking

Cocoparks has developed a made-in-France solution that is 20 to 50 times more efficient than traditional systems for smart parking in shopping centers. The impact: improve the attractiveness of shopping centers without compromising on decarbonization and energy sobriety.

Impact of Cocoparks smart parking during sales

The Cocoparks solution cuts the time it takes to find a place by 30% to 50%. Studies and observations have shown that the solution can accommodate half a customer more per seat every day.


Observatoire analytique du stationnement

Des data précises, objectives sur le stationnement, enfin !​

Aide au controle

Améliorer l'efficacité du controle avec de la data

Guidage à la place

Apporter un service visible au quotidien pour vos usagers​

L'appli Cocoparks

Le stationnement en temps réel, dans votre poche !​

Collaboration et gestion des arrêtés

Gagnez du temps et en qualité pour transformer la voirie

Optimisation du stationnement

Réorganiser pour améliorer l'attractivité et la sécurité

La tech est au cœur de la solution Cocoparks, par ici pour découvrir notre plateforme technologique


Observatoire analytique du stationnement

Precise, objective parking data, at last!

Control assistance

Improving control efficiency with data

In-place guidance

Provide a visible daily service for your customers

Cocoparks app

Real-time parking in your pocket!

Collaboration and management of orders

Save time and improve quality to transform roadways

Technology platform

Reorganizing for greater attractiveness and safety

Technology is at the heart of the Cocoparks solution. Click here to discover our technological platform.