You go to Target and buy a bunch of stuff, like usual. No big deal, right? Suddenly, you start getting coupons in the mail for diapers and formula, and you have no idea why. Oh, that’s right, you bought a gift for a friend’s baby shower awhile back.
What seems like a simple shopping interaction is actually a complex, behind-the-scenes tracking strategy designed to help retailers better target their consumers. Practically everything you buy is equipped with a scanable barcode. That barcode is more than just a way for the register to obtain the appropriate price for each item; it’s the key to vast amounts of information about you and every other shopper who has made a purchase from that store.
Companies are using barcode technology to create sophisticated customer profiles based on the items they buy most often and in what combinations. What you purchase in a store says a lot about you and your lifestyle. This data is used as the basis for marketing and couponing campaigns—and that’s why you suddenly start getting coupons out of the blue when you make a specific purchase.
We’ve put together an infographic to break down how companies are using barcodes to track you and your purchases. Check it out below!
This infographic was made by Camcode, the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of durable pre-printed bar code labels and Camcode floor label solutions.