Statistics: How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did

Great article about the power of shopper data and statistics for creepily optimizing shopping experiences. This is by I always use the universal club card number (local area code) 867-5309. Try it – there’s almost always a frequent shopper card registered with that number, so you can still get discounts without letting them track your personal buying habits – at least through a club card.

From NYT:

[Pole] ran test after test, analyzing the data, and before long some useful patterns emerged. Lotions, for example. Lots of people buy lotion, but one of Pole’s colleagues noticed that women on the baby registry were buying larger quantities of unscented lotion around the beginning of their second trimester. Another analyst noted that sometime in the first 20 weeks, pregnant women loaded up on supplements like calcium, magnesium and zinc. Many shoppers purchase soap and cotton balls, but when someone suddenly starts buying lots of scent-free soap and extra-big bags of cotton balls, in addition to hand sanitizers and washcloths, it signals they could be getting close to their delivery date.

Forbes:How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did
New York Times: How Companies Learn Your Secrets