Leading the Future of Retail: Mall of America Uses WaitTime AI for Real-Time Data on Shopper Experience
DETROIT (November 16, 2021) — Today, Mall of America announced a partnership with WaitTime, an artificial intelligence solution that provides real-time insights about mall capacity, crowd density and shopper experience.
WaitTime is a patented technology that is used by entertainment venues around the world for crowd intelligence and crowd management. Mall of America became the first retail venue to leverage the technology when COVID-19 made clear the value of accurately understanding when, where and how many shoppers were enjoying the vast complex, while maintaining the privacy of individual visitors.
At Mall of America, WaitTime is enabled by Cisco UCS servers optimized for Intel Xeon Scalable processors with built-in AI accelerators. The solution will provide Mall of America with actionable information regarding the number of shoppers entering and exiting the mall plus where people are spending their time.
“Over our 30 years in business, we have monitored how people are entering and exiting the building, but WaitTime takes the guesswork and manual counting out of the equation to give us an accurate picture of the shopper experience,” said Aaron Nielsen, Vice President-Information Technology at Mall of America & American Dream. “As we have started to see the data, we have seen a few things that surprised us, and since WaitTime has an API, we can tie the information we’re getting from them into our existing data around WiFi and directory usage and see a more holistic picture.”
In addition to further understanding crowd movement and capacity, WaitTime will allow Mall of America to streamline efficiencies and better focus personnel resources to continue to create the best shopping experiences. In the future, the same technology could be used to understand the guest experience at an aggregate level, for example how long the average wait times are for amusement rides, or how long people are spending at events in the rotunda.
“Mall of America has such a strong vision for the future of retail, and WaitTime is one exciting part of that vision that will allow them for the first time to truly understand how people enter and flow through the complex, “ said Zachary Klima, CEO of WaitTime. “With our technology, they will have access to information they have never had before, providing the opportunity to make data-informed decisions that will lead to enhanced shopping experiences.”
WaitTime uses highly sophisticated artificial intelligence to precisely count the number of people in a given area and determine if they are congregating or passing through. WaitTime also provides detailed analytics operators can use to provide better shopper experiences.
“WaitTime’s real-time, AI-based crowd management solution enables the Mall of America to make informed business decisions on how and where people spend their time shopping,” said Rose Schooler, Corporate Vice President, Global Data Center Sales at Intel Corporation. “Fueled by Intel Xeon Scalable processors with built-in AI acceleration, in combination with analytics solutions and Cisco Meraki technologies, Intel Xeon Scalable processors maintain the real-time bandwidth requirements of WaitTime’s AI algorithm, reducing costs and complexities.”