An article recently appeared on RetailWeek describes how the rise of big data and the increasingly sophisticated ways that data can be harvested, is transforming the retail world and  the way people will shop in the near future. Some cutting-edge technologies are being developed that could deeply transform traditional customer insights by predicting consumers needs in ways that would have not been possible before. As Jonathan Freeman, professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths University and managing director at i2 media research explains “Many years ago you would have a local shopkeeper who would know lots about you, your family situation, your personal information – your context basically – and would therefore be able to suggest products to you and react to your situation. Retailers are trying to recreate that relationship in another way.”

Cutting edge technologies such as eye tracking or software measuring emotional responses via facial expression are some of the ways in which this transformation could happen.



i2 media developed a neat model called the shopper state model which is essentially a way of responding to shopper moods and preferences using real-time mobile data and historical data. “It was developed initially through observational research, but now we have digital metrics that can work out where within a range of mindsets a consumer may be – so it looks at dwell time in particular areas of the store, for example, and then can tell if a consumer is interested in a product in that area,” says Freeman. “We can then use data we have built up around that customer and target them. For instance, by knowing that David has a young child and money is tight, the system could  send over a 10% discount offer for that product at a critical time directly to his phone.”

For more information see the full article here.