Stephanie Clifford is the retail reporter for The New York Times. She recently wrote a very interesting article about Safeway grocery stores and how they use the “loyalty club” data they collect to offer preferential pricing to targeted customers. I blogged about this a while back when I learned that Orbitz was offering higher hotel prices to Mac users on the reasoning that they would pay more for the room. Mac eliteism, I guess? By the way, I’m an avid Mac guy/user and have been since the mid-80′s.
In this case, Clifford reports (FULL article here, no subscription needed): ” … a 24-pack of Refreshe bottled water costs $2.71 for Jennie Sanford, a project manager. For Emily Vanek, a blogger, the price is $3.69. The difference? The vast shopping data Safeway maintains on both women through its loyalty card program. Ms. Sanford has a history of buying Refreshe brand products, but not its bottled water, while Ms. Vanek, a Smartwater partisan, said she was unlikely to try Refreshe.
So Ms. Sanford gets the nudge to put another Refreshe product into her grocery cart, with the hope that she will keep buying it, and increase the company’s sales of bottled water. A Safeway website shows her the lower price, which is applied when she swipes her loyalty card at checkout.” (source: NY Times, Stephanie Clifford 8/10/12)
We’re in the age of BIG DATA, ladies and gents, whether we realize it or not. Sooner or later – and my guess is SOONER – it will hit the real estate business head on. Will someone be offered a better rate on the mortgage based on demographic and psychographic data?
How about countering strategy? If guided by data on the buyer, would the counteroffer be higher/lower to effect a quick sale? Can a broker “bundle” a deal to include mortgage, insurance, maintenance plans and subsidize the sale price paid to the seller? RESPA aside (which is a BIG aside, I know) it’s all very interesting for sure.
What do you think? Will so-called BIG DATA change the real estate business? If so, how?
In the meantime, I am shredding my GIANT loyalty card (kidding!)…