Gathering customer data in brick-and-mortar retail
Although brick-and-mortar retail businesses are still able to experience success despite the emergence of e-commerce and giants such as Amazon, it cannot be denied that online retailers have some advantages that make competing less than an even playing field at times. One of the frontrunners in this scenario is the ability to capture customer data with ease. Automatic functions track everything from how many visitors a site has and how many are repeat visitors to what products were viewed, purchased, and much more. This customer data informs retailers on customer buying habits, overall attractiveness of products and services, and much more. Brick-and-mortar retailers are now taking advantage of the mobile revolution to attempt to collect the same data; however, despite the fact that the level of access is virtually the same (if not less so) than on online retail sites, customers seem to be wary of the practice.
The New York Times reports:
But while consumers seem to have no problem with cookies, profiles and other online tools that let e-commerce sites know who they are and how they shop, some bristle at the physical version, at a time when government surveillance — of telephone calls, Internet activity and Postal Service deliveries — is front and center because of the leaks by Edward J. Snowden.
Relevant current events aside, customers who visit brick-and-mortar locations are more accustomed to a traditional type of shopping experience, and it is understandable that this new age of data collection may seem off-putting. Nonetheless, retailers trying to get this information should take strides to explain to its constituents that this data collection can only benefit the customer. By being able to determine the same type of information that informs Amazon and other e-commerce businesses, stores like Nordstrom mentioned in the article will have a greater understanding of customer wants and needs.
How do you think data collection in retail will continue to change and grow? Leave your thoughts in the comments!