Following consumer backlash toward Nordstrom after customers became aware that they were being tracked via their smartphone's media access control address, retailers must tread carefully when determining the right way to gather customer data.

An article on cio.com points out five slightly less invasive ways to track in-store customer behavior. Three are listed below in an excerpt from the post:

1. Wi-Fi Fingerprinting: Track Strength of a Signal

This technique tracks the Wi-Fi signal strength of a smartphone or tablet in the store. One leader in Wi-Fi fingerprinting, Bellevue, Wash.-based Point Inside, offers the service through a store's branded app as part of an opt-in loyalty program. The Wi-Fi signal strength reveals where a customer goes in the store, which then helps a retailer develop product placement strategies.

2. MEMS: Create a Heat Map of Customer Activity

To provide more exact tracking, retailers can use the microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) chip on a smartphone. MEMS data uses the accelerometer and gyroscope within a smartphone or tablet to show the exact angle, direction and position of the device. Point Inside already has the technology to read this data through an opt-in app, but this specific technique appeals to companies because it can create a precise heat map of how a customer has travelled through a store.

3. LED Lighting: Use Frequency Emissions to Determine Customer Location

That's right—one of the latest methods for tracking customers involves the LED lights in the store, and ByteLight is one early pioneer. Because an LED emits a particular frequency, a smartphone app can detect a specific frequency and therefore determine the exact location of a customer. From there, a store can track a customer's location and path around a store—and send "hyper targeting" content such as a special on that shirt on the rack that's right in front of a patron.

Read more about customer behavior.

Related Content

User Comments – Give us your opinion!
  • Steven Anderson
    21060641
    As a consumer, the idea that every step I take in a store is being tracked feels very Orwellian. As an employee in a store, I find it even creepier. This information combined with BYOD is disquieting, indeed.
Products & Services

Qtrac Media Manager for Digital Signage

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/6173.png

6173/Qtrac-Media-Manager-for-Digital-Signage

Netverify™

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/6341.png

6341/Netverify

LG 42WS50BS-B

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/6443.png

6443/LG-42WS50BS-B

Dynasign Online Services

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/dynasign_onlineservices_100.jpg

212/Dynasign-Online-Services

Giant LCD Signage | 82" NEC MultiSync LCD8205

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/8205_w_model_HO_std2_100.gif

238/Giant-LCD-Signage-82-NEC-MultiSync-LCD8205

Qwick Codes Mobile Wallet

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/4294.png

4294/Qwick-Codes-Mobile-Wallet

Enterprise Solutions

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/4124.png

4124/Enterprise-Solutions

Microsoft® Windows® Phone Kiosk

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/4172.png

4172/Microsoft-Windows-Phone-Kiosk

Codigo iPad Kiosk

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/5955.png

5955/Codigo-iPad-Kiosk

BulleT wireless secure card reader authenticator

http://global.networldalliance.com/new/images/products/4296.png

4296/BulleT-wireless-secure-card-reader-authenticator

CONNECT 2014 Mobile Innovation Summit
Request Information From Suppliers
Save time looking for suppliers. Complete this form to submit a Request for Information to our entire network of partners.