Retail Product Locator
Original Publication Date: 2002-Feb-09
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Disclosed is a system to aide in locating retail items in large, super store environments. The disclosed system would make use of bar code technology which is on all retail items, combined with a 3 dimensional locator designation of the store to provide the consumer with a map to find the product for which they are searching, and an additional listing of items related to what the consumer has requested. Implementation of this system could be done via an in-store kiosk, or accessed via a web interface. Use of this system will result in a more pleasurable buying experience for the consumer, resulting in increased customer satisfaction, and increased retail sales from linkage to related items necessary to complete a project. When shopping in large retail establishments (super stores, home improvement centers, malls) many shoppers have difficulty finding items. This is in part by design on the part of the retailer, based on the old retail maxim of increasing sales by increasing traffic ie the more times you can get a consumer to walk past an item, the greater the likelihood they will buy. In today's environment, however, retailers are failing to appreciate the value of time savings to consumers, ie time is a valuable commodity for which consumers are willing to pay a premium, and a key element of customer satisfaction and repeat buying patterns. Walking around aimlessly in a retail establishment simply frustrates the buyer, and actually decreases the chances they will buy anything, let alone additional items they may walk past. If, for example, the consumer queried the system for 'paint', they would be shown not only the location for paint, but also paint brushes, drop cloths, tape, and other items typically required of a painting project. The consumer would then be provided with a hardcopy map to the location of the desired item, with highlights for the related items. The system would also be programmed to provide query capability based on total projects. If the 'project' was dinner for eight, for example, the customer could use the system to select from a number of main course options, desserts, etc, then be provided with a map to the location of the ingredients, proper amounts, and suggested additions, covering the current store specials. In this manner, rather than a frustrated shopper wandering up and down the aisles, becoming increasingly irritated, the consumer is encouraged to buy those things related, ensuring a successful dinner. This consumer is far more likely to frequent this store, rather than an establishment that used the traditional 'make them wander around' approach.