Shoppers Open to Sharing Personal Information


Posted in: Convenience Store, Executive, IT, Marketing & Sales, Retail

Every time you go shopping, you share intimate details about your consumption patterns with retailers. The New York Times Magazine recently ran a story about how Target and other stores are analyzing every single purchase you make to predict whether you have a baby on the way long before you need to start buying diapers. For decades, stores like Target have collected as much information on customers as possible keeping tabs on every purchase. Further, retailers can buy data about ethnicity, job history, magazines, if you’ve gotten divorced, where you went to college, etc.

It was surprising to me to learn in a recent IBM survey that consumers are much more willing to give up information about themselves than previously thought. According to the survey, three-quarters of those questioned were willing to divulge details about TV shows they watch and their ethnicity. 61 percent were comfortable sharing their addresses with certain retailers, while 59 percent said they were cool with sharing “lifestyle” information like the amount of vehicles they own and the type of home they live in.

While more private information from shoppers will obviously help retailers understand their target audience better, they also need to increase insight into the in-store customer experience. Video analytics and people counting software are key to predicting in-store consumer behavior providing accurate insights into how effective your store is performing. The consumer retail experiences drives not only increased visits but higher conversion rates and spend for each additional visitor. Understanding store layout, product mix, staffing and promotion effectiveness, inventory, and sales staff improves the shopper’s overall experience and promotes long-term loyalty. MVaaS combined with people counting and video analytics will give retailers an edge in the market today.

What is your reaction to the amount of data mining and analysis going on these days?