There’s been a lot of movement lately in the “stuff I buy” area—and there has been for some time. Starting perhaps with Amazon’s recommendation tools, we’ve got Mint.com helping us figure out where our income goes, Facebook’s attempts at Beacon, and now Blippy letting me post my purchases to my friends.
Still, we’re not at the point where every single purchase, down to the bar of soap, what brand of razor I use, and what kind of cheese I eat, is captured. Point of sale systems have all this data—hell, those that control the POS even share it with mass marketers like Catalina, who actually know more about what I buy than I do. The rest of us are stuck with the “Fresh Direct - $89.53” we pull out of Mint or check out in our credit card statement online.
So when and why does that change? Seems to me that Square is going to do this, but will that be enough to move the industry? This could really break open recommendations and also innovation around deals & savings, but at the same time give the user greater control. Perhaps one day I’ll have a Catalina login where I can indicate that I purchased that wine for a party and that I don’t actually drink, so take it off my profile, just like taking things out of the Last.fm queue or Tivo.
Who’s thinking about this?