To counter the online threat, bricks and mortar retailers are playing catch-up, using increasingly sophisticated technology to improve staffing, layout and marketing. Some people are less comfortable being watched in the offline world, prompting many in the business to promise to use only anonymised and aggregated data unless shoppers explicitly give their permission to be tracked. "Too much is happening without consumer consent," said Simon Hay, chief executive of Dunnhumby, the customer science company owned by Tesco that is behind its loyalty scheme.
Digital is transforming the world every day. Someone can and may be tracking us just about anywhere.
Stores and websites ought to be actively engaged in transforming fears over privacy in public places to establishing trusted relationships. Don’t hide what you’re doing. Sell it!
Where possible, give people an opportunity to be part of the change. Give consumers an easy opt-out. Respect that decision, but make it easy to opt-in again.
Nobody likes to have change done to them. Consumers have more choice about who they do business with today. Give them a reason to stay.
Additional in-store consumer tracking stories I have covered:
Understanding Digital Customer Engagement on a Physical Level - http://sco.lt/5OadxB
Attention, Shoppers: Store Is Tracking Your Cell - http://sco.lt/8l7a9x
Consumer Reports: How Stores Spy On You - http://sco.lt/59jJ3Z
You are Being Followed. Retail Stores Now Track Customers - http://sco.lt/7zPQfp
High-tech software for retailers discreetly tracks customers - http://sco.lt/6aDdSr
Tactonic expands touch screen technology to the floor - http://sco.lt/7FqFfN
How Walmart and Heineken Will Use Shopperception to Put Your In-store Experience in Context - http://sco.lt/6Cij5d
Why Don't More Shoppers Worry When Big Data's Watching? - http://sco.lt/6rQHZp
A black box in your car? Some see a source of tax revenue - http://sco.lt/5nJ6FV
Aaron's computer rental chain settles FTC spying charges - http://sco.lt/6asbQ1
Could Google Glass Track Your Emotional Response to Ads? - http://sco.lt/5uDJzd