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Elephants Pave Way For New Intel on Australian Shoppers

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A recent analysis of the behavior of Australian shoppers utilized a Sri Lankan elephant-tracking model.


Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers have used a Sri Lankan elephant-tracking model to analyze the behavior of shoppers in Australia.

QUT professor Darshana Sedera merged existing digital footprint tracking methods with contextual factors in a technique used by a University of Sri Lanka study on forecasting elephant paths. Sedera served as an external advisor on the creation of the elephant-tracking model, which analyzes elephant behavior in relation to contextual factors such as season and harvesting time. "Our mobile phones and the use of mobile apps act like the electronic tags on the elephants, in that they have the potential to track our every move--and provide keys to our future paths," Sedera says.

The QUT study examined how companies are working to create and increase digital connectivity via mobile apps, changes to consumer behavior, and firm capabilities. A QUT survey of about 500 Australian supermarket shoppers suggests consumers are aware retailers track their behavior and want a more customized experience, but a saturation point exists after which increased marketing will be ineffectual.

Sedera says the ability to accurately predict just a fraction of customer behavior could cut retailers' expenses significantly through more accurate stock purchasing and maintenance.

In the QUT survey, 70 percent of consumers were not very satisfied with how companies recognized or responded to their unique needs.

From Queensland University of Technology
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