Some retailers tracking shoppers' movements, habits - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Some retailers tracking shoppers' movements, habits

Posted: Updated:
A survey by Accenture reveals shoppers plan on spending more this year and that the majority will take a part of "showrooming." A survey by Accenture reveals shoppers plan on spending more this year and that the majority will take a part of "showrooming."
CARY, N.C. -

The holiday shopping experience may seem the same for most consumers, but certain retail outlets are using technology to track your movements and habits while inside their store.

It's not just security cameras retailers use to watch shoppers, but the smartphone in the shopper's hand.

"We all have these iPhones or Android devices. The fact of the matter is they emit radio frequency signals. Every phone has a unique address," said SAS Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jim Davis.

A new trend called "showrooming" is driving retailers to track shoppers. Showrooming is where shoppers see an item in the store but look for a better price online or possibly at another retailer.

"Sixty-three percent of shoppers will go through the showrooming experience this year," Davis said.

In comparison, "webrooming" is seeing an item online and then purchasing it in a retail outlet.

The Cary software company was involved with the software that allows retailers to track and analyze shoppers' movements and habits.

Shoppers are tracked anonymously if they walk into a store with their smartphone on, but if a shopper logs into the retailer's Wi-Fi, that's a different story. The retailer can track your exact movements using that Wi-Fi connection.

"They are tracking you via Wi-Fi and they might ask you to sign in," Davis said. "They might offer you some sort of discount if you sign in. Once they know who you are, then they can tie you in to other channels via a catalog that you may have purchased from in the past or an online experience."

Davis said the tracking can be stopped by simply turning your smartphone off when you walk into a store.

Some retailers, such as Nordstrom, ended their tracking efforts after posting a sign explaining its policy, Davis said.

"They had a great backlash from that from a data privacy perspective. A lot of people might have thought that was a bit creepy," he said.

But retailers use tracking to benefit the consumer as well. A retailer can send offers and coupons to shoppers while still in the store.

Shoppers like Jessica Whaley, of Raleigh, like the idea of getting deals in the middle of shopping.

"They know what you've purchased before, so you get coupons for it that say, 'Oh, I saw you were looking at this jacket. These are on sale too,'" Whaley said.

Not everyone likes the idea of being tracked by retailers, like shopper Patricia Guin.

"That makes me a little nervous. I don't like information being tracked and my buying habits being tracked," Guin said.

Whaley believes it is up to the consumer to avoid being tracked by retailers.

"If you don't want to, then don't connect to the Wi-Fi in the store or opt out of the emails or coupons or whatever you want. I think it's your choice," Whaley said.

Davis said tracking can be beneficial for the consumer as long as retailers keep the customer in mind first.

"Tracking sounds like a stalking sort of thing. The reality is that tracking can be a very good thing for the consumer," Davis said. "If it means we can get tailored discounts while we're in the store, that's a good thing. I think people will go for that."

RELATED LINKS

 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Sheriff's Office showcases "Faces of Meth" program as a lesson to all

    Sheriff's Office showcases "Faces of Meth" program as a lesson to all

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:33 AM EDT2014-07-21 15:33:26 GMT
    Faces of Meth™ is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office in Oregon. This project began when a deputy in the Corrections Division Classification Unit, Deputy Bret King, put together mug shots of persons booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. Deputy King worked with his co-workers in the Classification Unit to identify people who had been in custody more than once. He then worked to verify criminal records and files to determine and assure a history of methamphetamine re...
    Faces of Meth™ is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office in Oregon. This project began when a deputy in the Corrections Division Classification Unit, Deputy Bret King, put together mug shots of persons booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. Deputy King worked with his co-workers in the Classification Unit to identify people who had been in custody more than once. He then worked to verify criminal records and files to determine and assure a history of methamphetamine re...
  • Search Underway After Police Chase, Crash

    Search Underway After Police Chase, Crash

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:38 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:38:55 GMT
    Liberty County authorities are searching for two people who fled on foot after a police chase ended in a crash.
    Liberty County authorities are searching for two people who fled on foot after a police chase ended in a crash.
  • Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:08:35 GMT
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:58 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:58:35 GMT
    (WMC) - It was a story that made its rounds on social media. On a recent flight DeAngelo Williams, Mid-Southerner and running back for the Carolina Panthers, gave his first-class plane seat to a 77-year-old
    Family members are upset and hurt that their relative, James Wesley Bolden, is being called a liar and "a fake."
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
  • No swimming at some NC beaches due to high bacteria levels

    No swimming at some NC beaches due to high bacteria levels

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:36 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:36:19 GMT
    A map of the swimming areas along the NC coast that are affected by the recent high levels of bacteria.A map of the swimming areas along the NC coast that are affected by the recent high levels of bacteria.
    Six advisories and three alerts were issued against swimming Tuesday at nine ocean-side sites along the coast of North Carolina.
    Six advisories and three alerts were issued against swimming Tuesday at nine ocean-side sites along the coast of North Carolina.
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.