Method for Pricing Verification at Self-Checkout Kiosks
Original Publication Date: 2007-Jan-24
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2007-Jan-24
The invention provides a method to expeditiously resolve routine pricing issues. This invention addresses the inconvience that a customer in a self-checkout kiosk faces when there is a pricing discrepancy. This problem occurs because stores have set times when prices are entered into the system for new price changes. If there is a delay in the server updating the prices, all check out lanes will be affected upon checkout. The customers most affected will be those at self-checkout kiosks, because they will have to leave the line for pricing verification.
Method for Pricing Verification at Self -Checkout Kiosks
The invention involves the following elements:
A. Use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, or some other sensor technology placed on the shelf next to the consumable items. Specifically, an RFID reader or sensor can be placed on the backside of a sign or in a small digital display (~3"x3") typically positioned on a shelf under the consumable item. Common practice is to update pricing, and also to update the signs. However, if the database is updated with new pricing, and the corresponding prices are not updated on the signs, the customer will think that the price (for an item on sale the previous week) is lower than that listed in the database.
B. There is state information associated with each shopper at checkout (self or otherwise); if an issue arises that results in the shopper leaving the checkout, the user's information is saved; the issue can be resolved "offline" so when the shopper goes back to checkout, they can pick up where they left off. The customer information can be stored/associated with the customer's membership card, where data is already stored about them (i.e., yearly savings totals). This does not have to be the same checkout stall; there could be a special stall for returning users, so as to minimize the additional length of time the shopper has to wait in line again before resuming checkout, etc. The groceries that the shopper has already bagged will need to be moved to the new station, or offline area. If placed in the offline area, the bags are given a claim check number. The customer only pa...