With tracking research marketers are able to monitor the behavior of customers as they engage in regular purchase or information gathering activities. Possibly the most well-known example of tracking research is used by websites as they track customer visits. But tracking research also has offline applications, especially when point-of-purchase scanners are employed, such as tracking product purchases at grocery stores and automated collections on toll roads.
This method of research is expected to grow significantly as more devices are introduced that provide means for tracking. However, as we discussed in the Marketing Research Tutorial, some customers may see tracking devices as intrusive and many privacy advocates have raised concerns about certain tracking methods especially if these are not disclosed to customers.