Real Innovators Embrace the Tough Issues

In recent years, U.S. retailers have enthusiastically deployed technologies that enable

them to learn more about shopper behavior. Sophisticated indoor location-based analytics

communicate with smartphones and other mobile devices to anonymously identify shoppers

that come into a store, learn how they travel within that store, their dwell times in specific

departments and other behavioral business metrics.

The end goal of these technologies is to help retailers provide their customers with the best

possible shopping experience. Indoor location-based analytics help retailers ensure they offer

the products customers most want, maintain the ideal ratio of sales associates to shoppers

for highly personalized service, create marketing and merchandising campaigns that appeal to

shoppers, and much more.

Again, the objective of these technologies is to empower retailers to provide a great shopping

experience for their customers.

As can be the case with new technologies, however, consumers had questions. Were retailers

spying on shoppers? Was the technology capturing personal information from their mobile

devices? Were retailers invading consumer privacy?

The market was soon flooded with misconceptions, misunderstandings and inaccurate media

reports that fueled consumer fears. The issue became heated enough to attract the attention

of the U.S. Senate, and Senators Charles Schumer and Al Franken were among those who

stepped up to ask tough questions of shopper analytics companies.

The industry reacted in multiple ways. A few retailers very publicly removed shopper analytics

technologies from their stores, and a good number of technology providers and retailers

remained silent in hopes of avoiding negative attention while continuing to provide and make

use of retail shopper analytics.

A few shopper analytics companies, however, actively joined the debate, and one such

company demonstrated the importance of embracing tough public issues, overcoming

misconceptions and providing genuine industry leadership.

iInside is a leading provider of advanced indoor location-based analytics. The company has

more than 20 patents and more than 30 years’ experience providing advanced location-based

analytics to retail and other industries. (Full disclosure: iInside is a client of our firm.)

iInside launched a multi-faceted campaign to tackle the privacy issue with a level of innovation

similar to that which drives its development of best-in-class technologies.

Future of Privacy Forum. iInside joined forces with Senator Schumer, other location analytics

providers and the Future of Privacy Forum to identify and clarify all privacy concerns related to

indoor location-based analytics.

Code of Conduct. iInside and other FPF members crafted – and committed to – a Code of

Conduct and best practices to safeguard consumer privacy while enabling retailers and others

to continue using location analytics to better serve their customers.

Corporate Clarity. iInside actively communicates its commitment to maintaining consumer

privacy via its website and through the retailers and other companies it serves.

Industry Education. iInside helps retailers and other companies better understand how to

ensure compliance with the FPF Code of Conduct and safeguard consumer privacy. At the

same time, iInside helps its customers continue to better serve consumers through responsible

applications of indoor location-base analytics.

iInside instinctively approached a complicated, potentially damaging issue in the same way

we advise all of our clients – with honesty, innovation and leadership. As a result, iInside’s

industry came together as a transparent group with the common goal of better serving

consumers. In the process, iInside increased its positive visibility among the right audiences,

overcame industry and consumer misconceptions, and strengthened understanding of the

many advantages to be gained from its technology and service offerings.

Real innovators embrace the tough issues.

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