We live in a world of “big data,” which means that companies are using every possible piece of data that they’re able to gather on us to form a set of patterns and associations identifiable specifically to each customer.
As much as we may like to believe we’re shopping anonymously, data collection firms are working tirelessly in the background to collect as much data on us as possible.
You did not mention the specific store’s name. However, I still have a pretty good idea of how the store could associate your purchases to you personally, and I feel confident in stating that you have been paying for your purchases with a credit or debit card.
Even without signing up for the store’s loyalty card or electronic coupons, when you pay with a credit card, the store now knows your name, your address, and a host of other information about you.
Each time you pay with the same card, it continues adding to the purchase history file that the store’s data collection has established on you.
The store then uses that purchase history to create a set of personalized coupon offers based around the items you purchase frequently.
I shop at two supermarkets that send out similar mailers, so I’m familiar with this kind of promotion. Often, I find that the coupons are such enticing, high-value offers that they make me think about returning to the store sooner – which is, of course, the idea.