We are all aware that online retailers monitor our every click, but you might be surprised that brick-and-mortar stores are beginning to use a similar approach to maximize sales. Some may think that being monitored while shopping is a little invasive, but big brother is definitely watching. E-retailers are able to monitor the pattern of clicks and place similar items on the same web pages to maximize purchases. Now, there are a few new methods that brick-and-mortar retailers are using to produce similar results.

The first way that stores are tracking customers in their stores is through security cameras. Through new technology, retailers can track customers as they travel through the store by watching the security cameras. This information will reveal the most common paths customers take, how long they look at displays, and what areas of the store gather the most foot traffic. This could provide retailers with valuable information but may make customers feel uncomfortable. The second method that retailers are using to track customers in-store, is phone signals from customers’ cell phones. Through their mobile devices, retailers are able to track customers’ paths through the store.

It is well known that manufacturers pay large amounts of money to have their products placed in high traffic areas. Placement in retail stores greatly affects sales, so this new type of customer research will expose new trends and lead to more effective shelf placement. Both of these methods produce a whole new type of information that brick-and-mortar retail stores have never seen before. They will be able to utilize the data to better arrange displays and improve the store layout, unfortunately at the expense of customer privacy.

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