Browse Prior Art Database

Data Capture/Reaction to "Shop-back/Throw-back" Items

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015428D
Original Publication Date: 2002-May-08
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 2 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A program is disclosed that enables a retailer to collect information from consumers about articles selected then subsequently deselected for purchase. The data collected can be used by the retailer to adjust pricing, replace missing sign-work, reposition the product, or any other reaction based upon the data captured, which may even be unrelated to the reason for deselection.

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Data Capture/Reaction to "Shop-back/Throw-back" Items

A program is disclosed that enables a retailer to collect information from consumers about articles selected then subsequently deselected for purchase. The data collected can be used by the retailer to adjust pricing, replace missing sign-work, reposition the product, or any other reaction based upon the data captured, which may even be unrelated to the reason for deselection.

In large retail establishments, customers will often pick an item from the shelf for purchase and then later decide to not purchase the item. Such items are commonly referred to as "Shop-Backs" or "Throw-Backs", the name derived from the store personnel's labor which must "reverse shop" diverse items back onto the store shelves in the proper location for other customers to buy. Other names may also commonly be used.

The reason for the deselection of the item is in many cases communicated to the cashier, but there are no known implementations of collection of that data for the purpose of understanding the reason for the change in the purchase decision.

By leveraging the existing POS (Point of Sale) equipment and programming in the store, it is possible to develop function which would allow a cashier to scan or key enter the item code to input into the system the item information of the item left with the cashier. Following the entry, the operator may be prompted for the reason the customer is leaving the item behind. In this case, the item has never been a part of the sales transaction, which is the general case when the customer presents the item to the cashier. Other reasons, such as insufficient funds, or an item scanned to determine the price may involve entry and subsequent voiding of the item in the sales transaction. In both of these cases, the void functionality could be enhanced to track the data.

The data collected can be used in several ways. The following enumerates some of ways that the data collected may be used without regard for the reason for deselection.

Using information about the item contained in a store database or entered by the operator, the perishability of the item may be assessed. If the item is perishable, an immediate systemic reaction might be to issue a page to an employee working in the perishable department to collect a perishable item at terminal 'xxx'. The message may be fully automatic and may repeat at some interval until an operator has indicated that the item has been collected. The interval may reduce as the risk of the item spoiling increases. The system might also be integrated in some way to a Time & Attendance system so that if there are no members of the indicated department on duty, a manager might be paged. The details of paging may be varied (text page, in-store public address system, automated message to department phone, etc).

A key draw of consumers to a supermarket is the quality of the store's perishable items. This will help to ensure that the items des...