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Independent grocer Dorothy Lane Market has decided to install a biometric payment system in each of its three stores.

According to the Cincinnati Business Courier, “Customers entering the store can either use the finger scan or swipe a card to receive a printout of personalized product discounts. And at check-out, customers can pay via the finger scan, and debit the amount from a checking account.” In addition, shoppers will be able to enroll in the Pay By Touch-run program “or upgrade from Club DLM, the store's loyalty program.”
KC's View:
This last sentence is the most important in the story, because it puts its finger on one of the things that has always made Dorothy Lane Markets unique (other than its wonderful food culture and the leadership of Norman Mayne, one of the real treasures in the food retailing business).

Dorothy Lane Market always have been extraordinary in its disciplined approach to loyalty marketing – it uses a card program not just to accumulate data, but to actually use it to reward shoppers and lead them in new and appropriate directions. It uses its card program to actually establish a relationship with the shopper, not just to offer indiscriminate electronic coupons.

Using biometrics in this regard makes perfect sense, because it heightens the relationship…and builds on a level of trust and connections that already exists. I suspect that when the folks at Dorothy Lane were considering this program, they very much looked it as a tool that could be used in the service of a broader strategy, not as a strategy unto itself.