Grocery shopping might be less painful with this smart cart

4 Comments

Credit: Cambridge Consultants

Cambridge Consultants, a product development group based in the U.K., is showing off a connected shopping cart that can tell a retailer where you are in a store within three feet. The smart carts are equipped with Bluetooth radios and sensors to track the cart’s location so store owners can offer promotions and eliminate checkout lines. It also means fewer carts will leave the parking lot.

The smart cart design involves off-the shelf sensors strapped to the wheel of an existing shopping cart that are actually powered by the movement of the wheel. So there’s no need to worry about changing the battery inside. The technology is pretty cheap — about £5 ($7.60) — per cart, and should get cheaper with a bit more tinkering and larger orders.

Thanks to the Bluetooth sensors on the cart, beacons around the store, and the ability to track the movement of the wheels and correlate that to the distance the cart has traveled, a retailer can get an incredibly accurate sense of where the shopping cart is inside the store. This is as accurate as many indoor location technology providers and doesn’t require fancy infrastructure, such as RFID readers or a system the relies a customer to have a dedicated app for the store.

Data from the cart is sent to a server on the premise or can be sent up to the cloud for later analysis. But the real value seems to be in taking immediate action to generate sales by notifying customers of promotions when he or she is in front of a display (this would require an app) and then allocating enough staff to reduce wait time when that same customer is ready to check out. There’s also the possibility of offering cool services like generating maps around the store based on a shopping list (another service that would require an app). This could be cool if it tied in with Instacart to help shoppers fill orders faster or even helped fill similar orders at the same time.

Privacy advocates might appreciate that the cart is the item being tracked as opposed to the users’ mobile phone, although those shopping might be frustrated knowing all the data-driven tricks that retailers are using to try to get them to spend more money. The cart is still in the concept phase but Cambridge Consultants is talking to retailers to try to find pilot customers.

4 Comments

algoritz

Around 40% of shopping spend is based on impulse buying, according to research by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. Influencing this impulse buying is a big part of supermarket strategies. Current methods rely on customers’ mobile phone apps, which have poor uptake as well as privacy concerns.

https://www.zoplay.com/web/buy-sell-market-place-website/

Dipak Raval

This technology has a number of unique features that differentiate it from other indoor location technologies, benefiting both the retailer and the consumer. This technology addresses a number of privacy concerns, as customers no longer need to use their smartphones to get the best out of their shopping experience. It can offer the retailer the ability to gain feedback on how customers are using the store space with the shopping cart and also allows them the ability to identify potential bottlenecks and to ensure the shop layout is highly optimized. The technology also tells retailers a shopper’s location – in real time and without expensive infrastructure – to within three feet. This compares with a typical accuracy of 9-15 feet for existing solutions of this kind, which also require to enable an app on a smartphone to work.

Bob

There is little that is innovative here. Grocery marketing research firms have been doing this ever since GPS became accurate enough to allow it. The only thing new here is how cheap it is, and the fact that the customers are providing the power for their own surveillance, which enable store owners to consider rolling out such a monitoring program across all of their facilities, all of the time, rather than just during a marketing research study.

Dipak Raval

This technology has a number of unique features that differentiate it from other indoor location technologies, benefiting both the retailer and the consumer. This technology addresses a number of privacy concerns, as customers no longer need to use their smartphones to get the best out of their shopping experience. It can offer the retailer the ability to gain feedback on how customers are using the store space with the shopping cart and also allows them the ability to identify potential bottlenecks and to ensure the shop layout is highly optimized. The technology also tells retailers a shopper’s location – in real time and without expensive infrastructure – to within three feet. This compares with a typical accuracy of 9-15 feet for existing solutions of this kind, which also require to enable an app on a smartphone to work.

Comments are closed.