We all know that retailers are desperate to get our business back from the clutches of the Internet. All our online one-click ordering is decimating high street sales numbers, but the shops aren’t giving up without a fight. The kind of marketing we saw in Minority Report may not be here yet, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a slew of similarly scary technology heading our way.
The new NM Service iPhone app from upmarket department store Nieman Marcus is a good example. The app basically turns your smartphone into a shopaholic VIP pass card. Fire it up as you enter the store and immediately your shopping history details and Facebook profile pic will be flashed to the Nieman Marcus sales floor, so their reps can identify and target you as a target for their sales pitches.
OK, so it’s not quite that bad, but it’s close. The app is opt-in, so you have to manually decide to deliver the data, and you can turn it off until you’re ready to buy, so at least you’ll have time to graze the merchandise before the sales hyenas descend on you. You can also set up the app to show your favourite sales ‘associates’, mark favorite products and set up sales appointments, so it’s definitely the red carpet treatment on tap.
We’re not told what happens if you summon a sales associate and they know from your history that you’ve got a busted credit card and can only afford a pair of last year’s designer flip-flops, but no doubt there’s another app for that. [Via]