Mall of America Mines Insights from Wi-Fi Data

Learning about Shopper Behavior

A Carlson Analytics Lab Client Project


Free wi-fi access has become common in all kinds of public spaces and places of business. With that traffic comes a burgeoning supply of data generated by the people who gather, pass through, shop at, and interact with those businesses. What can be learned from that data that might be of value to both business and consumer?

Turning a Cost of Entry into a Competitive Advantage

Mall of America logo

In late 2015, Mall of America added free wi-fi access to the enormous shopping and entertainment destination. Shortly after implementation, MOA partnered with the Carlson Analytics Lab to help them analyze the associated data for insight into foot traffic patterns, dwell times in particular locations, and the impact of events on visitor counts.

During the course of the project, the students mapped the wi-fi data to the mall’s physical structure to identify clusters of shoppers based on movement through the facility. The concept — not unlike online clickstream analytics — provided a behavior-based way to look at customer segments. The students also presented their client with insight into activity at different entrance and exit points, how promotions impact cross-selling, and even shopper affinities for certain retail brands.

Mall of America with Customers Walking

Client Story

How Mall of America and the Carlson Analytics Lab Mined Wi-fi Data for Business Value

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