Using “cookies” in real world: why lesson learned from digital world are not applied in brick-and-mortar?

I have been wondering a while, how brilliant it would be to be able to analyze what is really happening in brick and mortar environment in equal way (even anonymously) to the browser environment.

Today that could be already possible. Often people consider privacy issues as an obstacle, but what if visitors would be handled anonymously like in internet: “we know what segment you belong, but we don’t know your identity until you voluntarily give consent for us to know (= loyalty program)”.

Solutions like Visual Engagement Analysis together with different sensors provide us with capability to pretty much the same. There will be a “cookie” like temporary anonymous digital identity created for you. This identity is mapped into segment based on information available (i.e. age group, gender). During your visit in physical location (comparable to a website) your whereabouts can be tracked and analyzed. With Digital signage and other display solutions your visit can be personalized.

This would be a simulation of internet-world transferred into real life experience. If done in clever and sensible way respecting privacy, i think it would enhance the customer experience and make merchants more capable to serve their customers. The data created in this kind of process would naturally serve as excellent source data for further analysis. If even complemented with machine learning capabilities, merchants could benefit from having capability to optimize their business based on real intelligence.

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