Anonymous Customer Who They Are and How to Track Them?

in store marketing metrics How Marketers Track Shoppers?

It seems at first as we all anonymous customers on any online store, shopping cart, e-commerce site even on Google Search and in the Shopping Mall, Food Chain store, Big Retail Store unless we log in or enter phone number or scan “member card” everybody know that. right?

If Online, as shopper we do not care about all this stuff, for us more important how quick i can find product i want, what quality of the image i see on product page and how well product described.

Bad picture, poor product description, broken page layout, image go over the text and if site and it’s pages load “slow” … may look suspicious and we usually quick and happily jump to competitors web site.

It called bad customer experience.

No customer care how hard and how much effort and money spent to build the site, how small profit site’s owner have we all need as cheap as possible and as fat as possible to get it.

Everybody know this too!

So, lets look at something we did not pay attentions and do not care much as customer unless we realize how much personal info we give away without noticed it while shopping online on in the “Mall”

Supermarkets Use Retina Trackers To Monitor Your Shopping Choices

For several years Supermarkets Use Retina Trackers To Monitor Your Shopping Choices

Once you are on the website or/and in the shopping mall you being tracked differently of course but still tracked: by custom webpage scripts, cookies, google analytic script, by your phone location service, by your kids following, jugging around and making noises unless you are in Toys or Apple store then it may turn to even worth for you then all of others “tracking and following” they will ask you to BUY something 😉

BUY is the keyword here, because we need to sell you some stuff that you do not really need, sometime do not have money to pay for and simply can live without.

Believe it or not “hidden on background” sellers, of the same staff you do not need, compete for YOURs and your KIDS mind as the potential buyers.

Online or in the Mall ideas the same, get as much information from you, as a the potential buyers, as possible, fast as possible and analyze it to convert to ideas on how to sell more to you and to your kids.

Count customer who enter store, use google and other’s apps on you phone to keep truck were you have been and for how long while slowly moving from Macy’s to JCPenney then back to Barnes & Nobel and to Food Court and finally to the SEARS.

If you took some photos apps my ask you to upload it to your Google, G+ accounts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp… all those apps free and we do not really care why and how all those company making money to keep up with terabytes of photos and videos we dump on unknown servers around the globes.
So on the way back from SEARS to your car parked near Macy’s “somehow” if you access your APP or google map locator will show you DSW Ad’s.
WOW this is magic: “how do they new I am near those stores”, ” i did not tell anybody, did not make google search for it…”

Magic!? not really just current level of High Tech we allow to be involved it.

Who cares, if it does not do any harm, right? It even useful in many situations.

If you want can use a non-trackable search (like Duck Duck Go) and the  “don’t track me” features of the browser, on  some of the apps you can limit “allow to access your….” but lots of features will not work.

shopping mall mapOn most if you start selecting and not allow access your contact list, your calendar, phone numbers in your contact list, your test messages, your location….. “Ooo YES” you will be Very Surprise what simple “Flash Light” app require to get permitting to access or it will not install.

Take Pictures and video

Location: proximate location, precise location

Phone: read phone status and identity

Storage: modify or delete SD card contents, read content on SD card

full network access
receive data from internet
view network connections
view Wi-Fi connections

Moreover is you install some of low quality, often crashing App which will work poorly but collect lots of your info very good it may still show you “unrelated” seems at first, adds and will do it a lot.

“The Flash function require the system’s camera permissions…” if you not allow it will not work, will show you add on full screen and then all start over again.

If you think if you use PAID app you are safe No Way in most Apps.

Next time you install from Apple store or Google Play just look and privacy notice.

Yes, do not like to share so much stuff do not use it, or at least you need to know what are you share if App has low review, low downloads, lots of ads and crash, maybe better find other one.

Why do i brought this up?
Because you are not anonymous customer any more not on your phone, any kind of tablets, computers… running with your smart watch on your wrist, not while browsing and shopping online, and while quietly shopping in the Mall or big retails like Target, Wal-Mart you name it.

If you are in Food Chain Store or SEARS and are member of some kind of shopping club once you enter phone or member ID it track your previews records and print you coupons based on it, most of it will be the stuff you did not shop for quite a while. Why? Simply to make you buy with little discount.

Stores truck you one way on another by different means. If BestBuy allow you to use FREE WiFi which is not a big deal anymore for most people and in most big store it is also free.  It is defiantly not for the reason so I can see how much discounted

gaming notebook or DSLR cost on eBay…

Did any own read  those privacy agreement you need to approve before getting access to Free Wi-Fi? Lots of cool staff to find out for once. Best Buy, Walmart, Home Depot, Barnes and Nobel even Starbucks with its current bit for Panera Bread chain will track, collect as much as they told you they will, you just did not read it.

It is all Ok with me, i do not care much just need to know exactly and where my info goes.
But the biggest problem you cloud not even imagine where ” allow to share anonymous info with third party or partners…” can lead too.

More over recently Congress pass the bill legally allowing online company to “trade” customer info.

So Since most of the stores, chains, malls have a websites (and business cards this days ;-)) it mean that all data collected in store, online on your phone or other devises will be sold, shared, traded, given for Free for research purposes only.

Ok, to make this less boring let see how they track you Mr, Mrs Anonymous Customer in more details


Part 2

Companies are turning to new technology  to learn what shoppers think.
On the land – in the Mall / Stores.

How Marketers Track Shoppers?
On your mobile devises, was covered a little above, when you park you car near Macy’s walk to SEARS and back you parking lot. Companies are turning to new technology to overcome the biggest obstacle to learning what shoppers really think: what the shoppers say.

To find out what drives shopping decisions, retailers are experimenting with eye-tracking technology

To find out what drives shopping decisions, retailers are experimenting with eye-tracking technology

New 3-D computer simulations of shopping experiences augmented with eye-tracking technology and brain-wave monitoring are taking the place of conventional market research. Using these simulated shopping environments, companies like Kimberly-Clark, Proctor & Gamble, and Unilever are extracting far more meaningful data from the human shopping experience.
Sophisticated simulations of packaging design and store-aisle displays allow the market testers to have more control over their experiments. And using eye-tracking technology or EEG bands, they can make heat maps of where consumers eyes tend to go on a label or a store shelf, or even see what experiences cause the pleasure centers of consumers’ brains to light up.

To find out what drives shopping decisions, retailers are experimenting with eye-tracking technology…
Big retailers wanted to learn more about its customers — how many came through the doors, how many were repeat visitors — the kind of information that e-commerce sites like Amazon have in spades.


So last fall the company started testing new technology that allowed it to track customers’ movements by following the Wi-Fi signals from their smartphones.

There are a number of companies competing in the retail analytic space, such as ShopperTrakRetail NextNomi and Prism Skylabs. These companies all argue that retail analytics only balances the scales, as online retailers have been doing this for years.

“When you look at something on the web, you get ads that pop up and follow you around – companies like that have much better advantage over bricks-and-mortar retailers and so they’re under more pressure to equalize the playing field,” ShopperTrak’s chief executive Kevin Kearns told the Guardian.

ShopperTrak provides two main services to clients. The first is their “managed service”, which counts the number of shoppers in a store at any given time through small devices placed at the entrance and exits to stores. The aim: if managers can predict the number of shoppers at any given time, they can ensure that there are an adequate number of staff.

ShopperTrak also provides clients with a more advanced “interior analytics” service, which involves anything from placing the counting devices in specific sections of the store to using a customer’s bluetooth to follow their movements around the store.
POS and loyalty data to create distinct communications and in-store environments that result in meaningful customer engagementsThe Moxie suite of services combines insights gathered from customer mapping, POS and loyalty data to create distinct communications and in-store environments that result in meaningful customer engagements.

Using relevant metrics and Customer Insights, we develop solutions through customer tracking, strategic retail design, exceptional Category Optimization and Relationship Management to nurture truly loyal customers. Our capabilities include the ability to influence and communicate with customers, pre and post purchase as well as “real-time”, during the shopping occasion. We use the most current communication mediums, integrated software/middleware and leading edge hardware solutions to deliver real-time messaging. We build the ultimate relationship management conduit to leverage your brand at all critical touch points.

Understanding the customers in-store behaviour will help build better retail strategies for:

  • Store layouts
  • Category positioning
  • In-store marketing and promotions
  • Building better customer experiences
  • Enrich the customer’s life i.e. save time, offer solutions, provide value

To be continued later, subscribe to blog to receive email notification on new posts.