Hannaford Supermarkets has found a new way to find what customers like and how they buy.
Electronic trackers on carts and baskets do the job for them.
The Maine grocer installed the gray and square appliances on baskets and carts in some stores this summer. According to the grocer, the units are meant to help improve the overall shopping experience.
“It helps us learn more about the flow of shoppers through our stores,” Hannaford spokesperson Ericka Dodge said by email. “The information can then help us design stores better and more easily for our buyers. “
The company said the tracking system is in use “in a handful of stores across our market area.” It did not specify how many of its more than 180 stores are included in the program.
Cart and cart based trackers do not know the identity of customers. They also don’t compare customer locations with credit card purchases at checkout, Dodge said.
“To be clear, no customer data is collected,” she said. “This is the path / route taken by the carts. This type of intelligence is quite common for retailers.
It is not clear whether Hannaford informed clients of this program. As of this week, they were used in the Dover, New Hampshire store. There was no obvious signage explaining the units or their function.
A Market Basket manager in Somersworth said his store does not use this type of customer tracking device on its carts. He is not aware of any similar tracking program at any Market Basket store.