Video ads are planned for grocery carts |
By JESSICA MINTZ, AP Technology Writer
Mon Jan 14, 8:00 AM ET
Microsoft Corp. is bringing digital advertising to the grocery cart. The
software maker spent four years working with Plano, Texas-based MediaCart
Holdings Inc. on a grocery cart-mounted console that helps shoppers find
products in the store, then scan and pay for their items without waiting in the
Microsoft's acquisition of aQuantive, an online advertising company, last
year for $6 billion shored up the company's capacity to serve video ads onto
these grocery cart screens.
Starting in the second half of 2008, the companies plan to test MediaCart in
Wakefern Food Corp.'s ShopRite supermarkets on the East Coast. Customers with a
ShopRite loyalty card will be able to log into a Web site at home and type in
their grocery lists; when they get to the store and swipe their card on the
MediaCart console, the list will appear. As shoppers scan their items and place
them in their cart, the console gives a running price tally and checks items off
the shopping list.
The system also uses radio-frequency identification to sense where the
shopper's cart is in the store. The RFID data can help ShopRite and food makers
understand shopping patterns, and the technology can also be used to send
certain advertisements to people at certain points — an ad for 50 cents off
Oreos, for example, when a shopper enters the cookie aisle. Microsoft said it is
still working on how it will present commercials and coupons.
Microsoft is also working with MediaCart and ShopRite to help advertisers
reach potential consumers based on past grocery purchases, which are logged when
they swipe their loyalty cards.
"This is not all necessarily about bombarding consumers, about targeting
advertising," said Scott Ferris, general manager of Microsoft's Advertiser and
Publisher Solutions group. "It's about also making the shopping experience
better for the consumer."
Advertisers will get more feedback about which commercials or coupon offers
are effective, because customers either buy the products or accept the offers on
the spot, or they don't. But Ferris said neither Microsoft nor any advertisers
will have access to the personal information consumers provide when they join
the supermarket's loyalty card program.
Original article: Yahoo - AP
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