Malls To Track Shoppers
November 23, 2011 by staff
The Temecula mall and Richmond, Va.,-based Short Pump Town Center — both managed by Forest City Commercial Management — are testing new “FootPath Technology” that tracks shoppers’ movements via the preexisting signals emitted from their cell phones.
The cell phone signal-based data being collected is anonymous, meaning the mall will not have access to specific names, personal information or cell phone numbers.
It will only be able to track where patrons are shopping, what stores they’re visiting and how long they’re spending in those locations.
Data will be combined into heat maps that will illustrate guests’ tendencies, shopping behavior and flow in the facilities.
Small monitoring units installed throughout the center, including Promenade Temecula’s parking garages, will collect the signals and send the data to a processing center foranlysis.
The ultimate goal, according to Promenade Temecula Marketing Director Kym Espinosa, is to enhance shopper experience.
“It just gives us an idea where people go when they’re on the property,” Espinosa said. “It’s really kind of critical (information) when you’re a mall developer. Expectations change so often from a consumer’s standpoint.”
Espinosa stressed that the “general information” being collected is allowing the mall to see “in a macro sense” where shoppers are going — if movie-goers at the mall also are frequent Starbucks patrons, if higher traffic volumes at a certain time require more security, if cleaning crews need to be dispatched more frequently in a certain area of the mall.
“It gives us a better idea of what we’re doing and how to sort of — again from a macro standpoint — better equip ourselves to answer the shopper experience needs that customers require these days,” Espinosa said.
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