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As the penetration of cell phones becomes nearly universal, marketers keep looking for ways to use the useful devices for information tracking and display. The ShoppingTrip360 application, launched by Infosys, offers a potential solution: It enables retailers to track a customer’s behavior and shopping habits in the store.

A store gets equipped with heat maps, smart shelf pads, and tiny wireless sensors, all of which interact with cell phones to describe how a customer acts in the store. Customers must download the application to their phone, which means they opt in and know that the retailer will be tracking their behavior in the store. The application provides value to customers by, for example, alerting them to a product display or special sale or providing more information about a product they are considering.

To encourage more customers to opt in, the retailer also can offer special promotions and coupons. Furthermore, customers can store their preferred products on their phones, which may make shopping a more enjoyable and informative experience.

But retailers are the real beneficiaries. They can gain a wealth of information from ShoppingTrip360, including data about shopping patterns, popular displays, places where customers need more information, which coupons were redeemed, and a host of other measurable features.

Yet they must take care not to make customers feel as though their privacy has been infringed upon; the opt-in function is key for the success of this application. More and more customers recognize the benefits of cell phone applications, including the ways they make life easier. ShoppingTrip360 thus offers benefits for both retailers and customers.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is ShoppingTrip360?
  2. What are the advantages of ShoppingTrip360 from retailers’ and consumers’ perspectives?
  3. Would you use ShoppingTrip360?

Craig Guillot, “Yak and Track,” Stores, November 2008.

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