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System for selling periodical subscriptions using an automated point-of-sale terminal

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004478D
Publication Date: 2000-Nov-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 19K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Retail stores that sell magazines and newspapers offer a perfect opportunity for the sale of targeted subscriptions. By offering customers the use of an automated point-of-sale (POS) terminal such as a debit/credit card register for purchases, stores can entice customers with, for example, reduced subscription rates. Customers demonstrate their interest in certain titles by the very act of purchasing them. Using consumer-targeting techniques and subscription offer data retrieved from a network-connected database known in the art, increased sales can be motivated. This system then makes possible not only the automation of particular purchases in certain businesses, but allows a consumer to purchase a single issue of a periodical as part of a subscription. Further advantage can be added to this system if the purchase of a single issue is considered part of the subscription, thereby reducing the cost of the issue to below the cover price.

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System for selling periodical subscriptions using an automated point-of-sale terminal

Retail stores that sell magazines and newspapers offer a perfect opportunity for the sale of targeted subscriptions. By offering customers the use of an automated point-of-sale (POS) terminal such as a debit/credit card register for purchases, stores can entice customers with, for example, reduced subscription rates. Customers demonstrate their interest in certain titles by the very act of purchasing them. Using consumer-targeting techniques and subscription offer data retrieved from a network-connected database known in the art, increased sales can be motivated. This system then makes possible not only the automation of particular purchases in certain businesses, but allows a consumer to purchase a single issue of a periodical as part of a subscription. Further advantage can be added to this system if the purchase of a single issue is considered part of the subscription, thereby reducing the cost of the issue to below the cover price.

Figure 1 illustrates one embodiment of a system for selling periodical subscriptions using an automated POS terminal. In this embodiment, system 100 includes POS terminal 120 attached to POS controller 122 and printer 124. Customer 110, who is preferably a consumer planning initially to purchase a single-issue periodical, transacts with an automated POS terminal 120 to purchase instead a subscription, initiating a network-connected transaction with retail subscription system 130. Retail subscription system 130 in turn transacts with fulfillment house 140. Fulfillment house 140 comprises a conventional fulfillment house receiving subscription orders and filling them by distributing (e.g., via mail) issues of periodicals. Customer 110 accesses customer assistance service 150 via network-connected communication techniques. Customer assistance service 150 is in turn in communication, preferably electronic, with retail subscription system 130 such that it can transmit requests for information to and receive requested information from retail subscription system 130 in real-time. Customer 110 may utilize customer assistance service 150 to obtain answers to questions involving a subscription. Printer 124 is available for printed receipts of transactions and subscriptions ordered.

Figure 1 System for selling periodical subscriptions using an automated POS terminal