Retailers collect your data and sell it to advertisers

Retailers are increasingly finding new ways to collect customers’ data, so much so that they’re monetizing it by selling it to advertisers.

Via Recode

The Issue

Over the last several years, retailers have increasingly found different ways to collect customer data, whether via their own apps, blue-tooth or WiFi beacons placed in-store, purchasing data broker lists, or collecting data via sign-in forms or newsletter sign-ups.

In order to entice customers to provide even more data, retailers are offering discounts, loyalty perks, or membership/subscription freebies or options. However, this is all done in order to capture more and more data from its customers. Some of the larger department stores, such as Target and Walmart, are monetizing their data collection initiatives. Advertisers who may not find as much value in data brokers or can’t rely on previous forms of data collection sources such as third-party cookies, can instead go directly to these retailers and purchase much richer data.

Your Move

It’s important to be aware that retailers are collecting your data. You might think signing up for a newsletter might be harmless, but only if you didn’t know that your data was being collected and potentially sold or shared with a number of other companies. If it gets you a $10 or 20% discount, however, you might be okay with that exchange.

How comfortable you are with companies collecting your data is a personal decision but that decision can only be made with complete knowledge of how retailers are collecting your data, what data is being collected, and how that data is being used.

To learn more about how retailers are collecting and using your data, check out the Recode article here.

Photo by Heidi Fin on Unsplash

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