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Hazel Free Shopping Experience with Shopping Cart Elimination

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238874D
Publication Date: 2014-Sep-23
Document File: 6 page(s) / 73K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This paper describes a completely automated shopping experience for the customers of self-service retail establishments like grocery stores, departmental stores etc. Rather than automating the shopping experience in pieces as in other cases, here the entire shopping process is with out reducing the shopping experience. This provides hassle free shopping experience by eliminating the need to push a shopping cart or carry a shopping basket; long wait time in queues to complete the billing and packaging but with out removing the rich shopping experience where the customers get to see, touch and feel the actual products; quickly add or remove their short listed products at a click of their hands; monitor the total bill at any point of time.

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Hazel Free Shopping Experience with Shopping Cart Elimination

Back Ground

    In self-service retail establishments, the retail goods are generally arranged on open shelves for selection by the customer as they walk around the shop or store. The customer pushes a shopping cart or carries a hand-held basket through the aisles between the shelves and picks the desired items from each shelf.

     The customer then pushes their cart or carries their basket to a cashier located at a sales terminal or check-out area. At the sales terminal, the customer unloads their purchases from the cart or basket onto a counter or conveyor and the cashier enters or scans the price of each item into the billing terminal, which computes the total cost of the purchase.

    The customer pays the bill amount either in cash, check or through credit card. Then cashier or customer packs the items into plastic bags, paper bags, or boxes as per the customer

preference. Finally, the customer takes the bags of groceries or other goods and leaves the check-out station to return home.

Problems in Current Model

The problems associated with this type of retail shopping are well-known.
 From the customer's standpoint,
there is congestion arising from the use of shopping carts in narrow aisles
The customer has to continuously carry the basket or keep pushing the cart through out the shopping time

Long waiting time in the queue to reach a check-out terminal and to pay for the selected items
the inconvenience of having to unload the selected items onto the conveyor for billing and load them back into the cart after the items are packed.

      Unable to view the total cost of selected items during the purchase before billing
 From the retailer's perspective,

Labor costs associated in having multiple cashiers at multiple payment points Chance of loosing customers because of congestion and long waiting time in the queue

Contemporary Advances

    Large volume of work is done in this area to improve the customer experience like elimination of wait time in the queue using smart shopping cart to quickly generate the total bill based on the items in the shopping cart [1], providing customer with hand held device to browse the directory information, promotions and then order remotely through wireless transactions [2], displaying only sample items on the aisles and customers can scan the product code from any of the interested sample item through the hand held device. Then the actual product matching the item scanned by the customer gets packed at the inventory and packaging section [3].

    To provide a unique hassle free shopping experience to the customers, the complete shopping process right from the customer entry into the shop till the exit has to be automated rather than focusing on individual aspects like billing, product selection etc. For instance automating the bill calculation through intelligent shopping carts will reduce the wait time, but the customer will still have to push the cart throu...