How creepy does it sound that stores that we shop in, may know every little detail about us, what we do, what we buy, and even our personality and behaviors? The article “How Companies Learn Your Secrets” written by Charles Duhigg explains exactly how they do this and why they do. “For decades, Target has collected vast amounts of data on every person who regularly walks into one of its stores. Whenever possible, Target assigns each shopper a unique code — known internally as the Guest ID number — that keeps tabs on everything they buy.” Who would have thought that we all have our own Guest ID number? How cool! …..Uh, more like creepy. They collect data on us every time we visit their store. They see who we are by checking our credit cards we use or if we fill out any surveys at the store. How much more permanent could this get? All of this information that Target is taking on us is in ways permanent cannot even describe since we, at least I, did not even know. ‘We want to know everything we can.” Finding information on us seems like their number one priority in order to get us to come back to their stores again.
Target can also “buy data about your ethnicity, job history, the magazines you read, if you’ve ever declared bankruptcy or got divorced…” Talk about creepy. This is all information that is permanent in a realm we never knew existed and we can never take it back. We walked in all of these stores before and now they know information about us. If it was simple as going to the stores and saying “Hey, can you take my Guest ID number off of your list? I am going to continue shopping here though,” then I would do that, but it is not.
“When a computer chimes or a smartphone vibrates with a new message, the brain starts anticipating the neurological “pleasure” (even if we don’t recognize it as such) that clicking on the e-mail and reading it provides. That expectation, if unsatisfied, can build until you find yourself moved to distraction by the thought of an e-mail sitting there unread.” This is actually really funny, but so true because I am doing it right now and I read and write. I know I have a text message waiting for me, but I am continuing to write while I think about that text message. Although, that text message will always be permanently in my phone so I will always be able to see it no matter what! That is what they call a habit!
Companies like Target use our information in order to get us to come into the stores more often. If they notice that we buy bathing suits during the month of April, they will send us coupons on sunscreen along with ads about books on dieting in December. Using our permanent information that they found from us, they can try to intrigue us to come buy more things in their store.
It is extremely weird how Target can find our information and detect if we are pregnant or not by seeing if we bought supplements, lotion, or a large bag to be a diaper bag. Then they use that information to send us coupons via email since they notice what we are buying and give us information on stuff we most likely will buy in the future. A father did not even know his daughter was pregnant until Target sent them an AD on pregnancy things. Read here for more!
Permanency is written all over this article. If we want into a store, they use our Guest ID’s and find out information about us that we did not even know was out there. It is permanent now and we can no longer get it back.
Here is another article about Target’s secret we (maybe just I) never knew about… Target’s Secret