Bricks and mortar retailers are using AI and cameras to monitor shoppers in the hope that this drives higher sales.
All they have to do is get around the privacy issues to make this more mainstream.
The Economist explains.
How retailers are watching shoppers’ emotions
CCTV, thermal-imaging cameras, EEG caps and other kit boost sales
FOR eight months up to this April, a French bookstore chain had video in a Paris shop fed to software that scrutinises shoppers’ movements and facial expressions for surprise, dissatisfaction, confusion or hesitation. When a shopper walked to the end of an aisle only to return with a frown to a bookshelf, the software discreetly messaged clerks, who went to help. Sales rose by a tenth.
The bookseller wants to keep its name quiet for now. Other French clients of the Paris startup behind the technology, Angus.ai, are testing it in research shops that are not open to the public. They include Aéroports de Paris, an airport owner; LVMH, a luxury conglomerate; and Carrefour, a chain of hypermarkets. In a test at a Mothercare shop in Tallinn, Estonia, software from Realeyes, an emotion-detection firm based in London, showed that shoppers who entered smiling spent a third more than others.
Taxicab medallion prices have been falling due to the rise of the ride sharing economy.
Used car trade-in values just keep falling
This is just relentless: Wholesale prices of used vehicles up to eight years old going through auctions across the US dropped another 1.5% in April from the prior month.
It pushed the seasonally adjusted Used Vehicle Price Index by J.D. Power Valuation Services(formerly known as NADA Used Car Guide) down to 109.9. The 10th month in a row of declines.
The index is down 7.1% year-over-year and down over 13% from its peak in mid-2014. It’s at the lowest level since September 2010, when prices were still spiking from the cash-for-clunkers program which had eliminated a whole generation of often perfectly good cars. In that sense, values are just now beginning to normalize (chart by J.D. Power Valuation Services):
Accessibility, formats and granularity are some of the key issues hindering actionable datasets.
The Real Limitations of Big Data
“Every revolution in science—from the Copernican heliocentric model to the rise of statistical and quantum mechanics, from Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection to the theory of the gene—has been driven by one and only one thing: access to data.”
That was the eye-opening opening of a keynote address given yesterday by the brilliant John Quackenbush, a professor of biostatistics and computational biology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute who has a dual professorship at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and ample other academic credits after his name.
Consumers are increasingly avoiding lunch.
Going Out for Lunch Is a Dying Tradition
Restaurants suffer as people eat at their desks; no more three-martini sit-down meals
The U.S. restaurant industry is in a funk. Blame it on lunch.
Americans made 433 million fewer trips to restaurants at lunchtime last year, resulting in roughly $3.2 billion in lost business, according to market-research firm NPD Group Inc. It was the lowest level of lunch traffic in at least four decades.
While that loss in traffic is a… Continue reading
Further reasons behind the decline of bricks and mortar retail.
- Online sales are just 8.5% of retail sales
- A consumer preference shift to smart phones
- Increasing healthcare costs.
- Changing demographics
- Too much retail
Opinion: Amazon isn’t the No. 1 villain in retail sector’s demise
Retail stocks have been annihilated recently, despite the U.S. economy eking out growth. The fundamentals of the retail business look horrible: Sales are stagnating and profitability is getting worse with every passing quarter.
Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com AMZN, -0.11% get most of the blame for this, but the criticism is misplaced. Nowadays online sales represent just 8.5% of total retail sales. Amazon, at $80 billion in sales, accounts for just 1.5%of total U.S. retail sales, which at the end of 2016 were around $5.5 trillion.
Though it is human nature to look for the simplest explanation, in truth, the confluence of a half-dozen unrelated developments is responsible for weak retail sales.