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Apparatus for administering a reward program

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004413D
Publication Date: 2000-Nov-08
Document File: 2 page(s) / 9K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

In accordance with the present invention, a central controller stores a series of registrations, each of which corresponds to an on-line purchaser of a product. The central controller calculates a measurement of product success, such as the number of products sold or the market share of the product. The central controller determines if the measurement is within a predetermined range. For example, the central controller may determine if the number of products sold exceeds a predetermined threshold. A selected set of registrations which are "early-adopter" registrations are selected. The set of registrations thereby defines a set of early-adopter purchasers. For example, the central controller may select a set of registrations having ordinal positions within a predetermined range of positions, such as the first hundred registrations. Thus, one hundred early-adopter purchasers are defined. If the measurement of product success is within the predetermined range, a reward, such as a refund or a free product, is provided to each early-adopter purchaser. For example, if sales of the product exceed 1,000,000 units, a reward is provided to each early-adopter purchaser.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 87% of the total text.

Apparatus for administering a reward program

Many e-commerce businesses experience pressures to rapidly bring newly introduced goods and services ("new products") to market. With heightened domestic and global competition, e-commerce companies that do not obtain market share quickly lose out to those companies that do. Consequently, the life cycles (period from product introduction to discontinuation) of many products are relatively brief, and many Web businesses strive to recover product development costs in just a few years. Further, because Web sites are highly accessible, there is a need to entice potential clients into remaining at a particular site. One way to achieve both of these aims is with a reward program.

In accordance with the present invention, a central controller stores a series of registrations, each of which corresponds to an on-line purchaser of a product. The central controller calculates a measurement of product success, such as the number of products sold or the market share of the product. The central controller determines if the measurement is within a predetermined range. For example, the central controller may determine if the number of products sold exceeds a predetermined threshold. A selected set of registrations which are "early-adopter" registrations are selected. The set of registrations thereby defines a set of early-adopter purchasers. For example, the central controller may select a set of registrations having ordinal positions within a predetermined range of positions, such as the first hundred registrations. Thus, one hundred early-adopter purchasers are defined. If the measurement of product success is within the predetermined range, a reward, such as a refund or a free product, is provided to each early-adopter purchaser. For example, if sales of the product exceed 1,000,000 units, a reward is provided to each early-adopter purchaser.

Referring to Figure 1, an apparatus 10 for administering a reward program includes a central controller 12 in communication with data input devices 14 and 16. Each of the data input devices 14 and 16 collects registration information directly or indirectly from purchasers (not shown), and transmits the registration information to the central controller 12. The registration information transmitted to the central controller 12 may be encrypted for security. The central controller 12 in turn generates and stores corresponding registrations based on the registration information. The purchasers thereby become "registered purchasers" of the product. The central controller 12 may be operated by several types of entities, such as a product manufacturer, a credit issuer, a credit card clearinghouse or a third party that administers reward programs for various manufacturers.

There exist many ways in which registration information may be submitted to the central controller 12. Registration information may be collected at t...