Keep an eye out for retailers: They're already watching you

How the "Internet of Things" is changing retail

Retailers are rapidly  developing a universe that some have called the “Internet of Things,” in which objects embedded with sensors communicate needs, wants, ads, thoughts and transactions all the way up the food chain. Not to mention computer programs devoted to manufacturing, logistics, building maintenance and marketing.

Cincinnati-based Macy's Inc. and the Kroger Co. are doing it with in-store kiosks, digital marketing campaigns and improved logistical capabilities.

Still others are using beacons to track the smart phones carried by shoppers. Some have raised privacy concerns, but consumers are showing an increased willingness to let their location be tracked in exchange for discounts and VIP treatment.

A recent report by Deloitte showed the digital impact on in-store transactions is “greater and growing faster” than previously thought. The consulting firm estimates digital technologies influenced 36 percent of all retail transactions in 2013. That’s $1.1 trillion in retail spending.

Become a WCPO Insider to learn how Macy's and others are using this new technology to blur the line between digital and in-store shopping.


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