In some cases, stores are implementing “soft surveillance” programs. Here a shopper who’s not using a loyalty or reward card but who does use a retailer’s mobile app is photographed as he or she walks through the main entrance. The customer can now be tracked throughout the store; the retailer can identify the sex, ethnicity and age of the shopper and, using that information, push customized ads to the mobile app.
A real-time response and feedback mechanism can influence a customer’s purchases through video prompts related to his or her demographic information and based on observations made throughout his or her walk. For example, a young man in workout clothes picking up a sports drink could be reminded that the store also sells vitamins designed specifically for high-energy sports enthusiasts, or someone picking up diabetic medication at the pharmacy could be pointed to healthy, low-sugar food choices. Identifying individual items Identifying individual items that particular shoppers are likely to buy can impact the bottom line.