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The Truth About Why Stores Track You
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Laurianne
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Laurianne,
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12/12/2013 | 4:45:46 PM
Timing
What happens after I get on the list of people who congregate in the chocolate aisle? Hopefully, I get chocolate coupons -- but if Facebook is any example, I also get lots of weight loss ads. Blech. If the marketers are to succeed, they must start to have a lot more emotional IQ about these offers.

 
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
12/12/2013 | 10:16:08 AM
Legislation is on the way, so try the personal touch.
For better or worse, pioneering retailing activities have already triggered that that sausage-making process otherwise known as legislation. 

According to The Center for Media Justice, which recently published a report on Walmart tracking activiites, California, Colorado, Connecticut, and Delaware have adopted laws related to consumer privacy. In fact, California passed three separate bills related to online privacy. One requires companies to disclose in their privacy policy how they respond to browser "do not track" signals or other "mechanisms that provide consumers a choice regarding the collection of personally identifiable information. Another California law requires companies to create an "eraser button" for teens that allows them to delete their own postings.

The European Union is considering legislation that would limit the ability to profile users, require disclosure on the use of data, create a right for users to ask companies to fully erase their personal data, and require firms to designate "data protection officers" to ensure that the law is followed.

All this would give me pause as a retailer and would lead me to rely on more conventional, non-electronic techniques. For example, you could train store personnel to observe what customers are looking at and engage them with offers of help and questions about what they're looking for, etc. So many stores I frequent today are thinly staffed by poorly trained personnel. They have little more to say than "if it's not on the shelf, we don't have it." The Apple stores I've been to DO NOT, have this problem, and in my view with personal touch would be much more effective than some pop-up offer.


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