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Our Obession with Tracking

Our Obession with Tracking
Retail
Nicko Margolies
  • 29 july 2009

We love to know where things are and companies that offer online tracking services tend to do better, no matter what their business is. When UPS first started offering online tracking in late 1995, it got around 100,000 requests.  Last December, UPS got 27.3 million requests per day. Today, there are services to track our flights, the buses in our neighborhood, even where the money is going.  What does this growing consumer demand say about our culture?

Perhaps it is the sense of security and accountability that comes with following your purchases online, but the trend also indicates our constant need for information updates, regardless of how mundane it may be. USA Today discussed the topic with Domino’s, who have rolled out a web-service to track your pizza from creation to delivery:

For Domino’s, the tracker is more than a marketing tool. Even as it gives consumers a window into the status of their pizzas, it gives Domino’s a window into the online world of its customers.

“Americans love knowing where their things are,” says Chris McGlothlin, chief information office at Domino’s. Folks constantly tell Domino’s how much they hate not knowing when — or if — their pizza will arrive. The Pizza Tracker, used by 75% of Domino’s online customers, is an attempt to solve that problem. While current technology also could track the whereabouts of drivers, Domino’s won’t track that for security reasons.

Besides connecting consumers to their pizzas, the tracker gives the first names of workers who make and deliver their order, says Russell Weiner, chief marketing officer. As a society, “We’re not just time-starved, we’re starved for connections to others.”

[via USA Today]

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