Journal article

Analyzing web behavior in indoor retail spaces


We analyze 18- million rows of Wi-Fi access logs collected over a 1-year period from over 120,000 anonymized users at an inner city shopping mall. The anonymized data set gathered from an opt-in system provides users' approximate physical location as well as web browsing and some search history. Such data provide a unique opportunity to analyze the interaction between people's behavior in physical retail spaces and their web behavior, serving as a proxy to their information needs. We found that (a) there is a weekly periodicity in users' visits to the mall; (b) people tend to visit similar mall locations and web content during their repeated visits to the mall; (c) around 60% of registered Wi-Fi users actively browse the web, and around 10% of them use Wi-Fi for accessing web search engines; (d) people are likely to spend a relatively constant amount of time browsing the web while the duration of their visit may vary; (e) the physical spatial context has a small, but significant, influence on the web content that indoor users browse; and (f) accompanying users tend to access resources from the same web domains.

Publication Details