In-Store Customer Tracking

In store customer tracking

Package tracking is a good tool to know where an item is and when it’s expected to arrive at its destination. Many businesses also use tracking technology to identify customer preferences and behaviors in order to provide a more tailored customer experience. With recent innovations in camera and Wi-Fi technology, customer preference tracking has never been easier.

Camera systems coupled with analysis software has been installed at some retailers. These new systems have the sophistication to identify moods and item preferences of individuals shopping in stores. When a specific customer mood or desire is detected, the system can link with an individual’s Wi-Fi connection on their phone to offer them advertising or discounts tailored to meet their need. The tailored ads can only work if a shopper has downloaded a store app or chooses to access the store’s wireless signal.

In some cases, customers are also encouraged to supply personal data such as age, gender, and income, as well as agreeing to be tracked over cellular networks, GPS, and Wi-Fi connections in exchange for cash and gift cards. The information is used for promotional purposes as well as income, being sold to brick and mortar stores, online retailers, and software developers.

In a world of ever-increasing technological advancements, tracking customer preferences is becoming as easy and wide-spread as tracking a package to its destination.

Would you opt in to targeted advertising through your phone at a retail store?

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6 Comments

  1. Grannybunny

     /  November 22, 2013

    I definitely would not opt into an electronic system designed to detect — and then try to sell me things based on — my moods or desires. Do we really want our emotions and our every movement recorded and commercialized? And the image of a barcode on the forehead has been used in religious tracts to depict the Biblical, Satanic, “mark of the beast.” Scary stuff!

  2. Jonn

     /  November 22, 2013

    I wouldn’t opt in to any of that, but many phones have apps that track a persons location, such as facebook and twitter. Phones set to look for wifi connections can also be tracked by stores that want to see where people are spending the most time. I don’t know if any personal data is shared with the store from a phone, but it’s scary how much info they can get even without it. I still remember the movie minority report where tom cruse walked past windows with ads that targeted him by name and interests. I don’t think thats too far off in the distant future. I fear that privacy will disappear in the next 25 years and our lives will be open books to everyone. It’s not a fun prospect, but I think it’s unavoidable based on how many people freely give their info out to the cloud through social media.

    • Grannybunny

       /  November 22, 2013

      I thought of “Minority Report,” too. There it was retina scans; here, they’re talking facial recognition software and other identifiers, but it’s all part of the same slippery slope.

      • Jonn

         /  November 22, 2013

        As long as there’s a database that associates names with faces, a profile can be built to see where people go by tapping into cameras mounted everywhere. Ads can then be designed to offer people deals based on where they frequent. That’s the future of marketing. I can’t say I blame stores for trying to give customers what they want, but I wouldn’t want hair regrowth products advertised to me in public if I frequent a hair restoration clinic. That wouldn’t go so well if I were on a date.

  3. Anonymous

     /  November 23, 2013

    LOL… ok so the mood of my customer is less than nice… send them a discount to LEAVE! Really moods are a fickle thing what would you suggest if you had a 15 year old in your line
    wait.. oops she changed again.

  4. I definitely don’t want tracking all it does is add to the junk mail you already receive via e-mail and “in-store” specials just for you.Sometimes you buy something and find you don’t like it at all, but then all you get are adds for that product or similar all the time and you didn’t even like it the first time. BAD IDEA!!!!!!

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