Microsoft is jumping off the computer screen and into the grocery cart. The software maker has been working for the past four years with MediaCart Holdings Inc. on a grocery cart-mounted console that helps shoppers find products throughout the store, and then scan and pay for the items without waiting in lines, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The acquisition of advertising company aQuantive will assist in this endeavor for Microsoft. Starting in the second half of the year, the companies will be testing the technology in ShopRite supermarkets on the East Coast. Customers with loyalty cards will be able to go onto the web site at home and type in their grocery lists and swipe their cards on the console at the store where their lists will pop up. The console will give a running price tally and check off items from the list as a shopper finds items, the report continues.
Radio-frequency can identify where the shopper’s cart is in the store. The data will allow target advertising to take place based on behavioral patterns and proximity to items on sale. GM of Microsoft’s Advertiser and Publisher Solutions group Scott Ferris was quoted in WSJ to say “This is not all necessarily about bombarding consumers, about targeting advertising. It’s about also making the shopping experience better for the consumer.”