Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Fri Feb 21 2014 21:43:38

Retailers Track In-Store Shoppers, But Is It Spying?

By: Ina Steiner

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It's no surprise that retailers track every click you make on their websites - their ads even follow you around the Internet thanks to retargeting. But did you know their mannequins are watching you when you're shopping in brick-and-mortar stores?

Theresa Payton, founder and CEO of Fortalice, says an Italian company that manufactures store mannequins has created ones that have the ability to monitor shoppers - and it's not just for detecting shoplifters. Just like retailers track and collect data about online shoppers and their behaviors, these systems are tracking how in-store shoppers are behaving.

Good Morning America also took a look at some of these mannequins in December and asked shoppers what they think.

The idea behind the tracking is, the more retailers know about shoppers, the more they can sell them. But Payton said the tracking could go beyond visual tracking to audio tracking as well. With stories like these, it might just drive shoppers online.




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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sat Feb 22 20:23:19 2014

It would probably drive me to stand in front of the mannequins and do goofy things.


In the town where I grew up there was a house that looked like the Psycho house (sans the Bates Motel). A couple “eccentric” (to be kind) sisters lived there and kept male mannequins in the living room & on the front porch. Absolutely NO ONE went there on Halloween. Never.

OK, so these modern mannequins silently observing us don't quite creep me out as much as that did.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Sat Feb 22 21:19:24 2014

It's only spying if the stores put the mannequins in dressing rooms...

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat Feb 22 23:27:44 2014

Ebay has taught us that just because something is legal it may not be ethical.

The courts have ruled many times that a person cannot have an expectation of privacy in public places, and retail store sales floors are public places.

However, I believe notices should be posted in the store about these cameras.

Our governments have done to nothing protect our computers from involuntary tracking cookies or have they required sites to fully disclose the parameters of these cookies.

What these stores are doing isn't illegal and only shopping elsewhere can stop this practice.

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by: papergoy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 23 10:06:25 2014

I believe in New York State, cameras are fine pretty much anywhere except where there's an expectation of privacy (ie- changing rooms, bathrooms, etc) but as I recall, one cannot tape sound as that runs afoul of Federal Wiretapping Law.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Sun Feb 23 16:10:07 2014

I knew there was something creepy about those mannequins. ;)

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Feb 24 02:06:32 2014

More "Junk Technology". These warped aberrations need to get a life. People who make a career of sticking their noses in our business need to be dusted.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Feb 24 08:05:29 2014

Creepy.  Especially that faceless mannequin with the alien shaped head.

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 24 09:50:57 2014

The NSA needs more data for national ''security''.

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by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 24 11:10:21 2014

The new shopping mantra - If you do not look good being filmed doing it - don’t!  

No picking or scratching where you shouldn’t ought to be picking and scratching....

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by: semper fi This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 24 12:16:15 2014

Biggest user of this technology is Nordtroms!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Mon Feb 24 14:57:56 2014

Reminds me of all those Wall-mart pics that regularly do the rounds ... is that where they all come from ... ugh!

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by: Cassie This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 25 17:46:17 2014

This is not new my first retail job as a teen in G.C. Murphy's, F.W. Woolworths, Roses, Montgomery Ward & various now no longer operating historical department stores. In fact an old TV show 1970's ''Good Times'' had Ja'net Dubois character Willona Woods get hired to sit behind a dressing room mirror and watch unknowingly customers try on clothes prevent theft well it really happened. I remember when stores forced sales staff chase shoplifters it pretty much stopped when the shoplifters would turn on pursuing employees with knives or guns in late 1980's. It's hard imagine but it was a job requirement or work performance mark on a retail employee not actively reducing retail theft aggressively. Working a store section merchandiser(managing 12 departments)average ($125 to $1,200) inventory loss weekly per department about 3% was damages due customer handling 8% return product or manufacture defect. The rest was complete or partial theft - the most common replacement components for previous purchase consumer damage! I know be wary shipping eBay I've tracked customer names/addresses/user names as most returns they've swapped a lid in a glass dish I sold or etc never an issue fake claim wrong color or size & etc.....why I track as on other sales avenues these individuals hike processing/handling fees on my private websites or ban special membership sales discount buying offers to them. All/every stores does this for over 30 years most hike up sales prices across the board. This is why merchandise theft & defacement cost consumers $$$$$ BILLIONS! every year~ all automatic marked up added 10% to 25%  cover this cost.....I rather target the problem makers or turn them down special offerings every chance I get! It's a fact general sales or individual target best customer special offers knocking off added cost that loss mark-up.

Yes keep really good evidence per customer trends-the best customers reward with greatest value repeat offers the worst customers you leave in the lurch no special treatment (special discounts, added free feature services ex:express shipping, free gift wrapping or etc) fact encourage worst consumers freedom shop somewhere else & someone else's problem!

All open general eCommerce platforms Amazon, eBay & etc are my best customer recruiting and worst customer elimination sorting operation for main private sales platforms. It's business don't have time entertain bad behavior, criminals, and crazies assuming as customers.  



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