Pervasive Shopping Assistant
Original Publication Date: 2001-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Up selling, cross sells, product pricing, and production location are common problems for store marketers and their clients. From a stores perspective, how would you make a suggestion for another product if a certain product is out of date? Many times, up selling and cross sells are accomplished through printed flyers or expensive displays. Printing coupons and specials requires overhead. From a consumer’s standpoint, many users have problems locating items in a store, often miss items on their shopping list, or the user wants to know what to cook with certain items. As mentioned above, there is a plethora of problems with the current shopping experience. How can a store dynamically sell products while enhancing the shopper experience? The proposed solution is a pervasive shopping assistant used for in store shopping. In a typical shopping experience, the customer would enter the store. The pervasive device would communicate via a wireless connection to a server that would inform the user of any specials for the day. These specials can be dynamically generated, and they give the store the ability to market locally, regionally, and nationally at an inexpensive rate. If the user has a shopping list entered, it is sent to the server. The server then checks the list for out of stock items or possible up sell items. If an item is out of stock, it will inform the user, and it will list alternative items if they are available. It may also suggest up sell items as for items on the shopping list. As the user shops in the store, he or she might pick up a product and want to know a recipe for that product. The Pervasive device can scan the barcode on the product and query the server for possible recipes. The server searches its database for recipes and returns possible recipes back to the user. If a user cannot find an item, the user can perform a search for the item by entering the product into the pervasive device. The device can query the server for the location of the product. The server can return results as a map of the store pointing to the location of the product, or it can return the location in text directions like the following: The product you are looking for is on aisle 7. It is on the third shelf. It is half way down the aisle. It is near the crackers.