The use of pervasive computing, data warehousing, GIS, 1to1 messaging, and a preference engine to allow customers and products to locate each other.
Original Publication Date: 2001-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Idea of disclosure For customers and products that are compatible to find each other is sometimes difficult or impossible. It may be necessary for a customer to shop many different places to be able to find products that are complimentary to each other. By allowing a pervasive computing device such as a cell phone or palm device to be linked to a GIS system via either a wired or wireless connection it is possible to locate items either in a geographic area or within a store or mall setting. Then if this same system is linked to a data warehouse, questions can be asked that will allow a customer to find a product or products of choice at the closest location to him and at a price and size or color that he might wish to have. Finally, the information that has been requested can be linked to a preference engine such that complimentary products to the product desired could be selected and presented to that customer such that cross selling could occur. All of the above, would allow 1to1 marketing to occur on the fly and also allow for follow on personal marketing to occur to this customer after purchases have been made to entice the customer to return for additional items. This would also allow for transaction level data to be used to enhance inventory control. This invention allows a customer to more easily and in a less time consuming way be able to select products that he needs. It allows a store or group of stores to communicate directly to a customer on a 1to1 basis for follow on sales to an initial purchase on the fly or by later communication in the form of follow on marketing. It allows for better inventory control because monitoring of sales are linked to when those sales occur and with what different items these sales are linked. It allows for the linking of customers directly to inventories for these customers to more easily find items desired and without human intervention in the process. In the past, the only way to solve customer 1to1 marketing problems has been either to know the customer and his preferences or to use data mining technologies to identify in a data base what a customer desires. In addition, this approach involves the time it takes to do the analysis as well as to craft the message after a sale is made. In addition, these solutions have not been linked directly to a GIS system such that location of desired items could be presented to a customer in a timely fashion. This solution differs because a preference engine and data warehouse can be linked seamlessly directly to a customer without human intervention. It allows for a more direct and 1to1 marketing solution to occur that is customer centric and customer driven. This invention would involve the creation of a data warehouse for inventory and customer data to be housed. This data warehouse would have to be linked to data marts that are store or function linked. The data warehouse would also have to be linked to a web server with a web based GIS and routing system to allow for directions to malls, stores and ultimately products to occur. The data warehouse would not only have to include maps or location on the earth information for mall and individual store locations to be found but also contain store schematics for being able to find things within the stores within a mall complex or within a geographic area. The data warehouse would have to link to a preference engine that would allow the profiling of customers and products such that matching of customers and products can occur based upon previous purchases by this customer and ones matching this customer's characteristic buying patterns and demographics. The data warehouse would also have to be connected to a 1to1 messaging device such that marketing messages could be sent to the customer that are customer specific for follow on and return customer purchases. A pervasive computing device of either a small palm type or cell phone would have to be in the hands of the customer to be able to connect to the store or mall data warehouse such that all the above could occur on the fly. This disclosure will be the basis for presentation of a vision to be used by Simon Properies to develop a way to help people more efficiently use the stores in malls that they own.