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Retail Stores Want More Customer Behavior Data, And Technology Is Helping Them Get It

July 14, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Retailers all over the U.S. are testing advanced technologies, including video surveillance, that track shopper behavior and mood. A coffee store in California uses technology that measures the signals between a smartphone and a Wi-Fi antenna to count how many people walk by and how many enter. National chains like Family Dollar and Cabela’s, and specialty stores like Benetton and Warby Parker, are using the data they collect to determine how to change store layouts and whether to offer customized coupons. Some shoppers are unnerved by the data collection efforts. “The idea that you’re being stalked in a store is, I think, a bit creepy,” says a computer information systems professor who noted that consumers can rarely control or have access to this data.
Stephanie Clifford And Quentin Hardy, "Attention, Shoppers: Store Is Tracking Your Cell", The New York Times , July 14, 2013, © The New York Times Company
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