Biometrics are a win-win for retailers and shoppers

by Infor Retail May 12, 2016 Customer Experience

Biometric technology analyzes biological traits including facial features, voice waves, DNA, fingerprints, and retina patterns in order to verify a person’s identity for security clearance, authentication, and payment processing. According to Research and Markets, the global biometrics market for retail is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 21.30% from 2016 – 2020.

Leading retailers are catching on to the fact that this technology does a lot more than create a seamless shopper experience—it’s directly benefiting their organizations. Here’s how biometric technology is creating a win-win situation for both brands and shoppers:

Make paying easier and faster

One of most widely embraced facets of biometric technology in the retail industry is the ability to provide a faster and simpler payment experience for shoppers. When customers can pay using secure, unique identifiers like fingerprints—instead of having to rely on cash or credit cards—the entire checkout process moves more efficiently. Easier shopping breeds customer satisfaction, which in turn leads to loyalty.

Easily ID known shoplifters and violent criminals

By cross-referencing mug shots from law enforcement databases, biometric facial recognition technology can alert store employees and managers of customers who are known shoplifters or may be potentially dangerous. That means improved theft prevention, and a safer environment for shoppers.

Personalized in-store marketing

Biometrics allow retailers to collect data about a shopper’s age, gender, and other identifying characteristics to better target their marketing efforts and tailor assortment accordingly. Shoppers can then be served customized ad experiences at the point of sale. So while the retailer gains valuable insights to improve marketing ROI, shoppers benefit from highly tailored in-store experiences.

Fraud protection

Data security is certainly top of mind for shoppers and retailers these days, as major breaches make headlines, frighten customers, and cost retailers big bucks. But even as security threats continue to put shoppers at risk globally, experts are telling us that biometric security is on the rise. The beauty of biometric technology, like fingerprint scans and facial recognition, is that authentication is nearly impossible to duplicate. So whether employees are clocking in with a palm scan or customers are paying with a selfie, shoppers and retailers both know they’ve got the right person in front of them.