Saturday, September 30, 2006

Tracking customers

Read this article in StorefrontBacktalk magazine, which I found interesting but also a bit scary. It relates how certain retailers have tied up with AC Nielson to measure what customers really look at in a store, what aisles they enter, how much time they spend there etc. Technology-wise its really great, but on a personal level, frankly I find it a bit disturbing and even intrusive, even though there are several other methods like RIFD and video tracking that are more invasive. How far will companies go to figure out how customers spend and get them to spend more time and money on their products, in their stores, is the real question that no one is willing to answer as yet.
Using no more than a dozen sets of wireless bi-directional infrared sensors, each store would count the number of people who entered and exited each shopping aisle, according to Peter Hoyt, executive director of In-Store Marketing Institute, which was actively involved in the trial.

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