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Digital directory keeps Mall of America traffic moving


Traffic is good at the Mall of America. Arguably Minnesota’s biggest tourist attraction, the 5.5 million-sq.-ft. theme-park-cum-shopping center packs in some 40 million visitors a year. The big challenge for owner Triple Five is how to keep that traffic moving, experiencing, and spending instead of seeking out directions.

Mall management appears to have found the answer with a digital concierge serve that guests can install on cellphones for step-by-step directions to specific shops or a live text sessions with mall staff. Drawing from more than 800,000 sessions on the ESP, or enhanced service portal, Mall of America has noted an average dwell time of 40 seconds on the app versus three minutes at physical directories.

“We want our guests to spend their time having fun at MOA, not searching for answers,” said Jill Renslow, the mega-mall’s senior VP of marketing and business development.

The directories are built on Google’s Chrome OS platform, which makes them easy to use, according to Jeffery Sarenpa of Minnesota-based Express Image, which developed the system.

“Chrome OS removes typical operating system headaches and allows us to focus on what we feel is most important – building immersive, effective experiences for our customers and their end users,” he said.

To accommodate MOA’s high percentage of international visitors, the directories are made available in nine languages: Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Somali, Portuguese, Hmong, Japanese, and Arabic.

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