By Gina Marinelli, Refinery29
We like to believe that mostly all shopping problems can be met with a clever solution, but as Fast Company reports, there may be one shopping dilemma that perhaps we haven't been anticipating. Stalking. Yes, kind of like what you might do on your Facebook news feed. According to the report, while e-commerce sites have often been able to track shopper's habits and purchases to learn more about their customers, free-standing stores have not typically had the same capability. That's where Wi-Fi signal tracking has helped.
Make no mistake: the WiFi tracking that can access you smartphone is smart. According to London-based Realeyes, technology is able to sync with cameras within the store to recognize shoppers' facial emotions or "happiness levels" while roaming the floors. Furthermore, even those customers who don't use the store's Wi-Fi system can be tracked. "If a customer's smartphone is set to passively search for Wi-Fi networks, their movement can be tracked within a 10-foot radius, even if they don't connect to a Wi-Fi network," the report claims.
Overall, while getting to know and understand your customers is an important part of sales, we're not sure if every shopper would be thrilled to know their every move could possibly be recorded. Should customers be explicitly alerted when any kind of tracking is in place? And, should that go for online, as well? Or, are these practices merely harmless and probably making our shopping experience a better one. To the comments with your thoughts!
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