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Stores looking to track shoppers through cell phones


Many shoppers are now visiting retail stores with their cell phones in tow so they can easily compare prices of in-store items with what’s available online. When this happens, retailers often say they have been “showroomed,” as brick-and-mortar stores are acting as a place for people to check out what they want firsthand, but then order it later online, according to NHPR.

Bryan Wargo is the co-founder of a startup company called Nearbuy Systems, which is attempting to build up sales at the various brick-and-mortar stores across the country. Wargo believes the majority of stores are aware they are being showroomed, but they do not know exactly how to change it.

Wargo and his company are attempting to change that by implementing a program that uses cell phone tracking software to persuade people to go to certain places in the store where they can find deals while also analyzing where shoppers go in the store on their own , according to the news outlet.

“Our challenge was, take what we already have, and most stores have – Wi-Fi and … video for security and things – and mix those two signals together to create something that is more accurate,” Wargo told the news source.

The concept goes even further. Shoppers are able to check their phones for new coupons and deals that can appear when the person is standing in front of a shelf. For example, if a person is in front of a certain brand of clothing, a coupon for the brand will pop up on their phone and they are able to use it when they check out.

“The vision everyone has for this technology is that you walk in front of the soda. And then Coke and Pepsi in the background are going to bid up to see who can send you that coupon,” added Wargo.

According to MSN Money, Sears was trying to implement a similar program in order to save its store from going under. The department store is offering an incentive to its shoppers – if they “check in” when they arrive, they can save some money. By simply checking in at the store, they are a part of the Shop Your Way Rewards, which will offer a series of coupons for the shopper to take advantage of.