Has it ever crossed your mind how retailers are able to know just what you need at the right time? How do they know you need a pair of shoes or a scarf? You could be thinking they’re probably good at guesswork or that it’s simply a coincidence. Well the thing is this is neither guesswork nor a coincidence. Most retailers have various methods to dive deep into the thoughts of customers in order to get them to spend more money than necessary. Here are a few of ways retailers use big data to get us to spend more.
Retailers can use your phone number to track your purchases at the store, but they also track you using your actual smartphone. Retailers can be notified of your presence or whenever you are close by through a technique called geofencing, using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Once you connect to their complimentary in-store Wi-Fi you become their target.
Sure, the wifi at the department store is free, but as I’m sure you already know, nothing is ever truly free. By connecting to their wifi, you’re agreeing to have your every move tracked. They know where you go on the store and how long you stay at each aisle. Talk about creepy.
With facial recognition software retailers can know who’s coming into the store and even their reaction to displays in the store. One advancement we’ll be seeing soon are in-store ads tailored to each individual. For example, as a young lady walks past a large LCD display, beauty care products can be displayed. Then the ad can change immediately to shaving products as a man walks by.
The retailers will know what item you add to the shopping list, even if you don’t create an account and later remove it. When you come back to that site weeks later, you might be presented with that product front and center, as they’re hoping to remind and convince you this time around.
Store Loyalty Cards
Reward cards sure do reward the store with a lot of information about you. Imagine, they know when you visit, how frequently you shop, how much you spend, which store location you visit the most, and of course they know everything you buy. This massive amount of information is very valuable to the store.
With the information gleaned from store cards, retailers can tailor ads and coupons to you, which may seem a bit creepy. If you buy a product every 2 weeks, they know and they’ll send you a coupon to get you to buy it again.
This site will never sell your data, such as your email address. But retailers routinely share some or all of your information. After all, they’re a business and if they can make a buck off of your name, address, phone number and email, they will surely do it.
The more information you give a store, the more value your data has. If they know you’re a mid 40’s white male who buys a lot of shaving products, the data of that customer would hold more value and thus would be likelier to be sold. Retailers who buy customer information would use this data to more effectively target their new customers.