Video surveillance was one thing but, now customers could have their cellphones tracked to test their behavior in stores. Nordstrom’s has participated in a recent experiment part of a movement by retailers to gather data about in-store shoppers’ behavior and moods, using video surveillance and signals from their cellphones and apps to learn information as varied as their sex, how many minutes they spend in the candy aisle and how long they look at merchandise before buying it. Can’t video surveillance help with better understanding consumer behavior.
Nordstrom is not the only store that is using phone tracking all sorts of retailers — including national chains, like Family Dollar, Cabela’s and Mothercare, a British company, and specialty stores like Benetton and Warby Parker — are testing these technologies and using them to decide on matters like changing store layouts and offering customized coupons.
The store can also recognize returning shoppers, because mobile devices send unique identification codes when they search for networks. That means stores can now tell how repeat customers behave and the average time between visits. This is complete invasion of someone’s privacy and stores should not be allowed to do this.
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