Big Brother Is Watching You Shop

Big brother is watching and everybody knows it – at least they found out after the Snowden leaks were presented earlier this summer.  The public concern over privacy has made services like Euclid Analytics and RetailNext hot issues in the retail sphere.  Retailers want to know as much as they can about customers, and these tracking services are getting increasingly effective at gathering a detailed set of data about consumers: where they walk, what they look at, how they feel.  The magic is in the ability to consistently track consumers’ cell phones via wi-fi networks, and read their movements and body language with specialized cameras.  The consumer experience can be enhanced by the advanced targeting these services make available, and offers can be made more effective based on the data.  Some users will certainly be uncomfortable with the uncanny accuracy of a computer’s read on them, but others are likely to fully embrace the technology, participating in retail programs to enhance their experience, and maybe even get a personalized “hello” next time they enter the store.