A couple of interesting stories about how retailers utilize high-tech analytics to better understand customer shopping behavior. I heard “The secret life of discounts” (Marketplace radio, December 16, 2011, link to listen or read the transcript) as I drove to the airport last night to pick up my daughter who was coming home from college. There are some examples about how stores use analytics to try to remain profitable with consumers conditioned to buy only at a steep discount.
In “Big Brother is Watching You Shop” (Bloomberg Businessweek, December 15, 2011), you can read about retailers using in-store video cameras and tracking your cell phone to better understand how you move through a retail store. Analyzing video from a Miami store allowed Montblanc managers to more strategically locate merchandising, signage, and salespeople. The result — a 20% bump in sales. Other retailers follow customers’ cell phone signals to track and map movement through stores. This of course is raising privacy concerns.
What else could stores learn by carefully analyzing video of consumers shopping? Does it bother you that your cell phone signal allows you to be tracked while you shop?