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How location tracking will change the way you shop

Zach Miners | Oct. 10, 2013
Can't find an item in your grocery store? Some retailers want to help, but it could mean tracking your every move as you wander through the aisles.

"We're never going to convince consumers that they should love data exchanges or marketing," he said. But instead of burying their data gathering in a long privacy policy, retailers should promote the types of benefits Amazon offers with its recommendations, Polonetsky said, and tell customers, "We recommended this to you because you liked such and such."

Chandu Thota, an engineer at Google, agreed that companies need to explain the benefits to shoppers. "But phones are very personal," he said, and when stores try to gather location data, customers may be turned off by the idea.

GISi Indoors installed its Wi-Fi sensors at the Place conference to map the location of attendees, denoted by red dots on a map of the hotel displayed on a screen. Location tracking still isn't an exact science, though. Occasionally, a red dot would zoom by, cutting across a wide swath of the hotel.

"That's a car outside that was picked up by our sensors," a company representative said.

 

 

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