Global Supply Chain Musings

An article in the New York Times (July 14, 2013) describes an experiment at Nordstrom, after informaring customers, that tracked customers “using the wi-fi signals from their smartphones”. But the cell phones unique signature also permits tracking customer repeat trips, time spent in the store, items purchased etc. But online stores have always stored customer clicks, browsing time, purchased vs considered goods etc. Is the customer tracking in a physical store similar to online tracking of customer choices and therefore a retailer prerogative ? Should the customer be alerted whenever she is being tracked, with approval sought and an incentive provided, for continued tracking ? Should stores send coupons to customers based on their observed shopping interests to increase their reason to shop ? Are there privacy issues that are relevant or is the store a domain that should be permitted to be under retailer control ?

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