A Russian retailer is planning to use facial scanning technology to customise its service offering based on each consumer’s emotional state,according to a recent Fast Company article.
Through installing cameras linked to emotion recognition software, Russian cosmetics chain Ulybka Radugi will be able to gain a better understanding of the current mood of each individual customer while in store. This allows the retailer to register when a customer expresses a negative reaction to the store customer experience, providing a key insight into which areas of the service offering could be improved. It is a controversial move that has led to customer interaction management specialists and retailers discussing the possibilities and potential issues created by this technology.
Beyond this though, the retail chain also intends to use this insight to deliver a more tailored service to its consumers. Information from emotional readings will be linked to personal data records, including purchase history and loyalty card use, creating a comprehensive individual profile within the company’s CRM system. Through this system, the retail chain intends to explore the link between emotional state and choice of cosmetics in order to use the technology to offer personalised promotions or recommendations matched to a customer’s mood.
In the future, the use of facial recognition technology could even eliminate the use of loyalty cards and physical payment methods entirely, as details of both could be tied to the customer’s own facial profile.
However, while these strategies clearly offer benefits for consumers, allowing the retailer to improve the customer experience and deliver more relevant communications, some critics see the use of camera equipment as an invasion of privacy. In light of this argument, it remains to be seen whether other retailers will embrace the concept of offering a customised service experience based on consumer emotions.
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