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IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000005058D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Aug-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2001-Aug-03
Document File: 2 page(s) / 34K

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Pat Rakers: AUTHOR [+4]



This text was extracted from a WORD97 document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 53% of the total text.


By Pat Rakers, Ambiga Subramanian, Joseph F. Wodka, Timothy J. Collins, Chun-Tak Fan

To attract customers, retailers and manufacturers rely on providing competitive pricing, rebates and coupons. Reductions in prices are generally advertised to customers through newspapers, handed-out during in-store visits, etc. In some cases, price of an item is reduced as more and more people buy the same item. These systems do not provide the capability for items from different manufacturers (similar items, but different brands) to compete against each other in order to give the best price to the customer. These systems are also not customized to individual consumers. Most of these systems present static coupons or price reductions that are common to all consumers. For example, these systems do not differentiate between a customer buying 3 sets of dresses and a customer buying just one set, or someone who has always bought a certain brand of breakfast-cereal and someone who had tried various brands of cereals.

Items equipped with electronic barcode technology such as Motorola's BiStatix and wireless data network can provide a method for retail stores and product manufactures to provide dynamic, competitive prices for their items that are customized to individual consumers.

When a customer scans the tag on an item that he or she is interested in buying. The product ID of the item is sent to the backend data network via spread spectrum. Information about the scanned items such as the price, brand etc. are displayed directly from the tag or from the in-store server. Based on what item was scanned, information about competitors price on a similar product is sent to the customer. If the user decides to go with the competitor's product, a new lowered price for the first product may be provided to the user in order to attract the customer. This process can continue until the customer makes a decision on which item to buy, or when the price cannot be lowered anymore on the items.

Before providing a reduced price to a consumer, the consumer may or may not choose to be identified by the store. When a consumer is identified by the store past purchase history, current shopping list and the shopping profile of the consumer can be obtained by the store and therefore a further tailored price can be provided to the consumer for products.

The consumer can be identified through the use of an electronic hand-held device that is equipped with a BiStatix reader and wireless data receiver (Bluetooth enabled hand-held device). The consumer can also provide their menu/shopping list information from their hand-held device to the in-store system.

Alternatively consumers without electronic hand-held devices can be issued such a device for use within store environment. Furthermore such device can be incorporated as part of the shopping ...