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Sunday, October 17, 2004

New Intelligent Shopping Carts

A Massachusetts-based supermarket chain says it will roll out new intelligent shopping carts that, among other advances, will let shoppers email their shopping lists to the store and check prices on the spot. The carts, equipped by IBM and software company Cuesol, promise to make food shopping much more personalized and interactive. grocery shopper to have a personalized shopping assistant on his or her cart, and gives the shopper such features as:

-- The shopper's buying history and favorites, as well as the shopping list that could have been created at home and emailed to the store;
-- Notification of favorite items or other promotional items that are on sale, as the shopper approaches those items in the aisle;
-- Personalized offers, including coupons, in the aisle as the shopper approaches an item;
-- The ability to place a deli order from the cart, then picking up the order when the deli counter notifies the shopper on the cart's computer that it is ready;
-- The ability to locate particular items in the store
-- The shopper's loyalty program points and reward level;
-- Price checks through use of the personal shopping assistant's scanner;
-- The ability to keep a running total of items in the cart by scanning each item. The Shopping Buddy also shows total savings and allows for rapid self-checkout at the end of the shopping trip.
-- The ability to show promotional material and advertisements on the cart.
-- Stop & Shop also uses IBM Self Checkout systems to enable the self-checkout feature of the new Shopping Buddy once shoppers have completed their cart-based self-scan.In the future, these intelligent shopping carts could offer such personal shopping assistance as: meal planning, sorted by such things as category, favorites, sale items, diet type, and preparation time, with supporting content such as health notes, recipes from a meal plan and wine information. It also will be able to offer the shopper a guided shopping trip, showing a store map with shopper and product icons mapped by location.
In addition, future features could include pharmacy favorites, ordering and notification, as well as product information that allows for comparison with similar items, consumer ratings and gift suggestions. Ultimately, the personal shopping assistants will allow shoppers to pay at the cart. Retail shall always be at the leading edge of absorbing technology and with time retail shops would begin to look like electronic emporiums also merchandising retail items.
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