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Tracking buyer behaviour in real time

That omnipresent CCTV at the next multi-brand outlet you visit may just be mapping your shopping behaviour, writes Radhika Pancholi.

india Updated: Nov 30, 2007 00:10 IST
Radhika Pancholi

That omnipresent CCTV at the next multi-brand outlet you visit may just be mapping your shopping behaviour. Or that's what the US-based VideoMining Corp and GMT India, who have come together to offer in-store measurement services to the Indian retailer, promise. GMT India is in the process of signing its partnership agreement with VideoMining.

The new software, which would be embedded into close-circuit cameras in shopping malls, is meant to provide technology-enabled customer insights and audience measurement research for retailers as well as brands that are present in a retail shop. "The software does what people have been doing so far—looking at footage to analyse customer behaviour. The only difference is that most of the basic data would be collected in real-time," Hozefa Attari, director, GMT India, says.

Explaining the software's uniqueness with the help of an example, Attari says, "Supposing you walk into a shop that houses a camera with this software, it would start mapping your shopping patterns and behaviour from the minute you enter the shop to the time you leave. Therefore, if you head straight for a certain brand, it would put you down under a loyal customer for that particular brand on its map. Or if you compare two or three brands before zeroing in on one, the software would map you accordingly."

According to him, the software would go a long way in helping brands and retailers decipher an Indian shopper's behaviour. "Indian shopping habits are very different compared to the rest of the world and that's where this kind of data comes in useful."

But the real-time data collection also depends on the complexity of the problem posed to the software. "While basic data collection is in real time, it would take some time for the software to map more in-depth data like brand loyalty for a particular make or certain consumer behavioural characteristics," Attari says.

He claims that the software can help retailers take a number of decisions such as in-store placements of brands, and map the hot shopping areas and the cold shopping areas for customers. "However, this would be a two-way process with brands as well as the retailers who sell them at a consensus on using the software."

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