Sunday 2 July 2017

Observing Customers - or Retail Technology Gone Mad

 A report in The Telegraph says that more retailers are investing in customer scanning technology that monitor things like facial expressions, heart rates, and pupil dilation. One French bookstore is using this technology to alert staff to customers who indicate they may be seeking assistance. An Italian dress shop has installed secret cameras in their mannequins to detect customer reactions to clothing items.

We’ve actually had this facility for years at QVM. It is called paying attention to your customers. Observing customer body language is an innate skill for many traders and almost certainly a part of every successful trader's skill set. But wait! Maybe that explains why some traders sit at the back of their stalls glued to their mobile phones. They are secretly looking at camera feeds that analyse facial expressions - maybe not.

Jokes aside - we can see applications for this type of technology. How customers respond to shopping environments is important to their buying patterns. Just knowing if most of your customers or potential customers, are smiling might tell you about the environment you have created.

But for market traders nothing replaces good old face to face customer service if you really want to know how your customers are feeling, observe them, talk to them, and turn them into buyers.