If you’re pregnant, you might have noticed that you’re starting to get some relevant discount vouchers sent out to you. Does Tesco have a sixth sense that you need to stock up on cotton balls, baby wipes and pregnancy supplements? Is it coincidence? According to New York Times magazine, no. The stores actually know you’re pregnant. Creepy, huh?
Loyalty cards and predictable shopping patterns help stores guess how far along you are. Then they use targeted advertising campaigns to try and entice you into buying what they want you to buy. As Andrew Pole, a statistician from US based store Target, claims, “We’ll be sending you coupons for things you want before you even know you want them.”
One father from Minnesota complained after Target sent pregnancy coupons to his teenage daughter, before being told, in fact, yes she was pregnant.
Shops know you might get wise to too much ‘coincidental’ offers so intersperse them with irrelevant ones. As Andrew describes, “We’d put an ad for a lawn mower next to diapers…it looked like all the products were chosen by chance.”
Now, before we get all a bit freaked out, perhaps we should consider that at least we do get some good deals out of it. You know, silver lining and all that…
Or is it time to ditch that loyalty card? Let us know what you think below