How retailers track your every move in exchange for coupons and convenience

Once upon a time (February 2020), you could walk into a store, casually browse its wares, and try things on, making sure they fit and felt right before you decided to buy them. Maybe you joined a few friends for social interaction over coffee at the in-store cafe. You could even buy things in relative anonymity using cash.
Online shopping eschews this experience in favor of data-driven convenience. Physical stores were already losing ground before the pandemic drove customers away, and now they’ve had to accelerate their efforts to build out their online and contactless offerings before they’re put out of business for good. Curbside pickups, mobile apps to order and pay for products, even virtual changing rooms have become routine and are likely to continue long after the pandemic ends. Read more…