Using Electronic Demographics Responsibly

Latest News from the POS & Barcode Industry

Free Expert Consultation

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Modern technology has added a dimension to the Know Thy Customer mantra that was almost inconceivable less than a generation in the past.

Retailers now have so much information that provides such levels of detail on customers that they must find a balance betwixt using this information effectively and appearing to the customer as some sort of digital voyeur.

Many of the targets of this elaborate data mining typically react with utter astonishment to the fact that their shopping profiles contain the depth of information available and it is not uncommon at all to hear reactions along the lines of, “I didn’t even know that about myself!”

There was one somewhat notorious instance of a brick-and-mortar/e-commerce retailer sending targeted emails pertaining to diapers and other baby items to a woman who had recently learned she was pregnant, but had yet to tell anyone else. Apparently, the merchant had made the decision to send the targeted email based on the fact that the customer’s habitual purchases of feminine hygiene products had been interrupted.

Such revelations are certain to attract the notice of privacy advocates who object to the intrusiveness of such practices and even consumers who have benefited from offers based on targeted data collection have been less than enthusiastic about the concept of all this personal information being collected without their permission.

For merchants, another issue is that the sheer amount of data available for profiling customers, even when it is used in a respectful and benign fashion, can be more of a distraction than a benefit. The process of sifting the information for what matters and what is superfluous requires a skill set that was not necessary before the digital age arrived to collect details about customers and shopping habits that are far more detailed than anything that had ever existed previously, even when that information was voluntarily supplied by customers.

Recent Posts

Negative customer feedback can be positive
All business owners love it when they read positive customer feedback comments. Many of those are genuine and sincere, but can come off as overly promotional, or even completely contrived. On the other

Printing Barcode Labels for Your Business - Part 2
Barcode labels help you streamline your business and are used on products for sale and in asset management applications. This article will help you choose the correct labeling solution for your business. Types

Zebra Technologies Corp. Sells 125 Million Z-Bands
Zebra Technologies Corporation, based in Lincolnshire, Ill., had issued a press release on June 2, 2010 that they had sold over 125 million units worldwide of its Z-band patient wristbands. It is their

The Process of Automating Your Business
The process of automating your business is essentially a dynamic way of taking the duties done formerly by a human and converting them to machine labour. While this is a cheap way to replace the drudgery

Using Your Tablets as Barcode Scanners
Tablet computers are the latest trend these days. They are easy to carry, easy to use and relatively cheap. While iPad may have set the bar in terms of price and glamour, other manufacturers have been

Research and Development at Tech Giants
There is one thing common to Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and IBM – emphasis on research.. While Hewlett Packard continues with its practical and rational approach in its research, Microsoft has proved