Data lures consumer into buying
In my car I listened to a Dutch radio broadcast show about shops of the future ‘the techniques behind the shop of the future’. A very interesting show and I would like to share some of the highlights and my thoughts about this. Also, I will explain how we’re going to suffer from on — and offline tabernophobia (fear of shopping) in the near future due these new developments in shopping.
Dynamic price systems
The future of shops begins at the doorstep of a shop that has a system that analysis visitors at the entrance. The system is able to measure the level of doubt of an individual before entering the store by analysing their movement. As a shop owner today, you would require several screens scan everyone. The screen will not only adapt to a certain costumer, it will also measure their facial expression. It can tell whether or not a customer is happy, frustrated or sad by tracking specific movements of the facial muscles. All this data is collected and connected to your cash systems.
With all those tracking devises you can invite consumers into your store and satisfy all their needs by essentially making them spend more. If they are eager to buy something, which you will be able to measure through a face-expression app, then you can use your dynamic price system and make them pay more for the item they really want. It’s okay to do that because they are already used to that. Customers know this from their online shopping experiences. If they want to book a hotel room on trip advisor, they know that every time they visit the site the price of the room will rise. This is showing customers that the offer is unique. It applies to their feeling of scarcity. If a costumer doesn’t seem to buy anything you can change the digital screens of the shop to the preferences of the potential customer. Using the power of big data and the analysis of a buyer’s behaviour, you can add sensory smells and sounds to appeal more to the customer’s needs. Of course, you may have already monitored your customers digital buyer profile and see the conversion pattern of this particular customer. (BNR, June 13th 2020).
Let’s picture some of the consumers situations. From your costumer profile analysis you know this customer will go for the goodies at the cash counter. You also know precisely what this particular customer likes. So, let’s put some interesting stuff there. Or, this costumer will not buy in your shop, but they just want to try what you’re selling in the physical store. Let’s close the deal and make sure, that he or she buys at one of your digital shops. Oh wait, this buyer is useless to you, direct him out of your establishment. Your scans sees, this costumer is in a sad buyers mood, yippee! Let’s let her turn her Wallet upside down on your cash machine, you can sell him everything!
Do you want to know more about future shopping? In Arnhem the Netherlands you can visit this Future Store: (https://www.bnr.nl/podcast/techniektour/10412075/de-techniek-achter-de-winkel-van-de-toekomst, unfortunately the site is Dutch, but I’m sure there is such kind ‘concept’ store in your neighbourhood also. “It’s all about costumers experience”, the stakeholders of the Future shop say (a bank, a technical data service, city entrepreneurs) As shop owner, in this economic stressful time a little help is fantastic. Yes, we have to support our local entrepreneurs.
As a person who needs to shop this is not a fair game anymore; combining intelligence from big data and unasked personal data on individual level. If I take something from a shop without paying for it, it is called shoplifting. If a shop takes something from me, without asking for it, like my facial expression, my behavioural pattern for discovering the trigger for the buy button in my head, it is called smart Marketing. With as result I buy stuff I don’t need or never intended to buy in the first place.
The counter argument is that entrepreneurs are able to take care of my subconscious needs and wants. They are building on their customer relations with me. To make me happy.
It reminds me of a big artwork of Bourgeois, called ‘maman’. A big spider that is taking care of her eggs. But anything else that enters her web will be caught. With her poison she will suck you out until you are only an empty shell.
I do have arachnophobia. I don’t like spiders and their poison. In the future I’m going to suffer from tabernophopia as well. I will be afraid to enter on or offline shops. Technical shop devices combined with digital buyers analytics are building consumers webs. Data is used as glue and shop owners are the spiders that are luring us to buy stuff in their physical or digital webs. They are sucking value out of us! We will end as empty consumed shells.
We need an antidote for that. A sort of shoplifters’ bag, a device that blocks the data if a customer is entering a shop. A device that will protect us for buying stuff we don’t need and only shortly want. The world doesn’t need customers that buy stuff they don’t need. For the sake of the earth, can we please stop this spiderish consumer-focused-thinking-patterns? It’s not a trade game anymore, it is manipulation of the brain. Can we please nurture human individuals and the materials earth is offering us and stop this insane consumerism economic worldview?