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New and Upcoming Tech for Tracking Customer Behavior

Technology has changed everything. It has affected the way we shop, how we book transport and even how we interact with our friends. Many retail businesses are now embracing modern technology and use it as a way to track their customer’s behavior. Behavior tracking may sound a little creepy, but in reality, it is a way to enhance the experience of shoppers while getting ahead of the competition.

Just remember, there is a fine line between promotion and privacy, as spying mannequins back in 2012 did not go down well with the public. It is essential not to lose the trust of your customers while offering them a value-added experience. Here are four new and upcoming technologies, which will change the way brands track customer behavior:

1. Eye Tracking Technology

Right now, stores are able to gain valuable market and product placement research by equipping chosen shoppers with specifically designed eye glasses. The information that is gained is invaluable as retailers can determine the effectiveness of signage, which products stand out and whether the layout of the store is user-friendly or needs improvement.

The eyes tell a story, and this may be one reason why Apple’s new iPhone X has implemented eye-tracking technology from SensoMotoric. It is the way of the future and it won’t be long before this technology becomes more sophisticated and advanced. Just how far will eye tracking and facial recognition technology go? Black Mirror doesn’t sound so far-fetched now, does it?

2. Radio-Frequency Identification Implants

With the launch of Amazon’s new Amazon Go store in Seattle, WA, the megastore has done away with checkouts and utilized technology to track purchases and charge shoppers through their existing Amazon account. This makes way for behavior tracking, but customers don’t mind as they have a quicker, more streamlined “walk in, walk out” experience.

However, technology has already gone one step further with the availability of radio-frequency identification implants. These tiny, inexpensive chips are implanted between the thumb and forefinger and can be used to replace a credit card to enable instant payments. As these type of chips become more and more common, they will be potentially embraced by stores to track purchases and create instant in-store offers as they recognize frequent shoppers.

3. Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are hardly new and innovative, but the way they collect and use customer data is changing. Once upon a time, loyalty programs were created to give a customer a bonus for shopping on multiple occasions. These days, they are used to link a customer to their shopping habits and are activated every time the owner shops in-store or online.

Generally linked to an email address, this enables retailers to tailor make campaigns and send deals directly to the inbox of their shoppers.

4. Heat Maps

Stores already know which products sell well, as they can gain this information directly at checkout. But, how do they track the way customers shop? One way to do this is with real-time image tracking from the stores existing video cameras to create a heat map. These images of the store use a range of colors to showcase which areas receive the most foot traffic, and which items are touched.

This type of information can provide a clearer picture of just how well the store layout is working, and what needs to be restyled. The positioning of products is no longer a guessing game, with this simple technology sales can be increased significantly.

Technology is something to be embraced, and while the boundaries are becoming blurred people are becoming used to the feeling that big brother is watching. This is due to the convenience of a more user-friendly, tailored retail experience.

Photo Credit: Image provided by Social Monsters with permission to use. 

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