According to a survey of shopper's habits, consumers are creeped out when retailers use technologies like facial recognition to identify them.

The RichRelevance second annual "Creepy or Cool" survey of U.S. consumers finds that the mobile phone ranks #1 for shopping. More than two-thirds (67%) of American consumers use their mobile phone to shop. Not surprisingly, mobile usage skews even higher for the coveted younger Millennial demographic (ages 18-29), with nearly 8 out of 10 (79%) shopping on their mobile phone.

Mobile shopping now extends into the physical store. Nearly 3 in 4 consumers (73%) use their mobile phone while they are shopping in the aisles, and 1 in 4 (23%) use it frequently while shopping. Millennials are more likely to turn to their mobile phones. More than 8 out of 10 (84%) use their mobile phone in the store, and 1 in 3 (35%) use it frequently.

As retailers rush to deliver a store experience that merges digital technologies, mobile phone and the physical aisle, they must walk a fine line between an elevated – or an eerie – experience. There is no one-size-fits all approach, and consumer comfort levels vary depending on where and how technology is deployed. Age is also a major factor, with Millennials expressing stronger opinions on both creepy and cool features. Comparative survey data includes:


You can scan a product on your mobile device to see product reviews and recommendations for other items you might like.

Overall: 79% cool; Millennials: 84% cool

Soon after you leave the store, you receive a digital coupon for a product you looked at but didn’t purchase.

Overall: 52% cool; Millennials: 60% cool

When you check out, your print or email receipt includes product recommendations selected just for you.

Overall: 50% cool; Millennials: 59% cool


Your location in the store triggers personalized product information, relevant content, recommendations and discounts to pop up on your mobile device as you walk the aisles.

Overall: 40% cool; Millennials: 49% cool

Digital screens in each dressing room show products that complement the item that you are trying on.

Overall: 41% cool; Millennials: 49% cool

A salesperson makes more helpful suggestions because they can see what you’ve previously browsed and bought on their site and in the store.

Overall: 32% cool; Millennials: 45% cool


Facial recognition technology identifies you as a high value shopper and relays this information to a salesperson.

Overall: 67% creepy; Millennials: 71% creepy

A salesperson greets you by name on the store floor because your mobile phone or app signals your presence.

Overall: 64% creepy; Millennials: 64% creepy