The Surveillance Of Consumers By Retail Anthropologists

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I complicate the claim that the surveillance of consumers by retail anthropologists is manipulative and unethical. Retail anthropologists are people who study the shopping habits of customers. Retailers use surveillance cameras to retain and analyze information for the merchant that will help them understand the shopper’s needs and design a store layout that will keep the customers coming back. Although it can be manipulative, it is ethical. In a Stanford article, “The ethics (or not) of massive government surveillance, the authors state, that "If you haven 't done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear” (Wu, Chung, Yamat, Richman). If consumers are not doing anything wrong, then they have nothing to fear from surveillance cameras. As Burk declares in his YouTube video, “retailers can anticipate shoppers’ needs and desires, discover the points of engagement and friction in the shopping process, and last but not least improve the retail experience and measure how shoppers respond. Overall, their goal is to optimize shoppability of the store.” Although some claim that retail anthropologists’ placement of surveillance cameras for consumers while shopping is manipulative, it is not in fact unethical because their actions are meant for the benefit of the consumers, the benefit of the producers, and most importantly, shoppers are aware of the surveillance cameras.
The manipulation of retail anthropologists and the information that is acquired by surveillance cameras help improve shopping experiences for consumers. Although some people may feel insecure about them being watched, the results of such program helps assist consumers by making their shopping experiences more enjoyable, with a store layout that is specifically designed for ...

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...optimize shoppability of the store. One day, we will have cameras in every store, and the shopping experience will be tracked and customized to the consumers’ needs. Just like we get accustomed to other things in life that change around us, we will all soon agree that these options that retailers are taking without our permission will soon be invaluable and we will thank them for such ease. Although, it may not easy for some people to agree; if they were to take the time to be able to fully understand the retailer’s idea behind such techniques, it would change their mind. And if they are able to accept such change, at least they would not feel so betrayed. Under these circumstances, the observation of consumers is a provision to help boost the market with its sales and development. In addition, it creates the preeminent aftermath for both the retailer and customer.
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