Businesses are changing with the times. Smartphones, smart tablets, and now even smart stores. There is a lot of good that comes with this development, and a lot of potential for bad as well.
In this guide, we are going to dig into what it means to begin shopping at smart stores and some of the potential implications that can arise from it.
What Makes A Store Smart?
A smart store is a store that uses technology to find smart solutions to simple problems. There has been a massive interest in modernizing stores ever since the general public realized they could benefit from it.
Smart stores use a myriad of sensory and connectivity based technology based on iot use cases in retail that have been passed around in tech circles.
These case studies, papers, and more showed businesses that there is a definite advantage to systemizing the buying and selling process even further with data-driven processes.
Why Does That Matter?
So, businesses began integrating these systems both for their benefit and for the general public. These systems track as much information as possible. From which products sell the best, which are stolen the most often, when most sales happen during which time of the month or year or season and much more.
This data is then stored and analyzed by teams to influence the direction of the business and its marketing efforts. Advertisements for certain products deemed popular would take precedence. They would find cheaper but higher quality (ideally) alternatives that would help them maximize their profits. They would use it to figure out who their ideal buyer is of particular products and rearrange merchandise to get them to buy more as well as subtly cross-sell them other things.
What Does This Mean For Our Buying Decisions
It means that businesses can clearly tell more about the public now than ever. As they find ways to connect us with our purchases, brands can trade that information potentially and build a more complete customer profile. Partnerships between brands could lead to them directly advertising to you and people like you based on the data they could collect.
This means that they would learn to market to you better than you would be able to understand you were being sold to. For them, it means far higher profits for far less work.
For you, it means that you are going to be spending more money on things that you are subtly told to buy.
Should We Worry?
Yes and no. On one hand, in the wrong hands, this could be dangerous. It could be used to manipulate or control large parts of the population (if we are getting tinfoil hat about it) and help particular businesses thrive while others don’t.
On the other hand, it can be used to help influence people to buy things that are good for them and better for the environment than what people currently buy. In actuality, the applications are indeed limitless.