Security cameras are taking on new roles this Christmas, as stores are actually using them to track consumer behavior.
Like an unexpected business offspring of George Orwell’s 1984, a 4 year old company called RetailNext has been working to offer retailers a system to better understand customer behavior. Generally the company provides software which analyzes the videos from security camera systems and correlates it with sales data. But the software can even integrate data from radio frequency identification chips and motion sensors to track how often something as slight as a box of oatmeal, has been picked up in day. The company has been able to offer retailers statistics that have never been traceable, like which part of a store is most trafficked.
According to Businessweek, one Miami Montblanc retailer has even used the video analytics to generate maps which show which parts of their store are best trafficked. They’ve then turned and relied on these maps for their entire business set up, using them in details from where to place salespeople and merchandise, to where to set up in-store decorations.
Some companies have even taken research a step farther than RetailNext, utilizing something that can be found in just about everyone’s pocket or purse- a cell phone. Portsmouth, England’s Path Intelligence has been offering services since 2009, to track phones’ cellular signals as they follow their owners throughout a building. Retailers have used the data that this service, FootPath, offers to figure out where in a mall to place their stores and even find out the nationality of their visitors by using the country code at the start of their phone numbers.
For those stores interested in using FootPath, customer privacy is a predominant issue. And while tracking signals and phone numbers is about as invasive as it can get, companies like Montblanc, which has witnessed a 20 percent increase in sales with shop tracking technology, are proving it works.
But what get’s the customers through the doors to being with?
The first step for those of you ready to test your own big brother tactics, is to raise customer traffic, and the one of the best ways to do that is with location maps.
Websites– If you don’t have a website, make one, and then put a map of your location up. This is one of the best ways to create consumer awareness and an understanding of your location.
Snail Mail– It still works! Send a discount to key customers via postal service, which will feature your location map. Now not only do they know where your business is, but they have an incentive to go.
MarketMAPS combines the most accurate geography with the hands of our expert design team to bring you eye-catching custom maps of your locations. When it comes to making quality visuals, we’ve got you covered providing any details from custom logos to icons, data, color shading, and more!