Microsoft delivers targeted ads to grocery carts

By on January 18, 2008, 7:00 AM
If you live in the eastern US and happen to buy groceries at ShopRite, you might start seeing special shopping carts with little monitors attached later this year, when Microsoft and MediaCart launch a new initiative to deliver ads tied to customers’ past shopping history and location in the store.

Microsoft’s $6 billion acquisition of aQuantive last year shored up the company’s capacity to serve video ads onto these grocery cart screens, which will also provide useful information such as the location of products within the store and personalized shopping lists. Shoppers can also use their smart carts to scan and pay for their items without waiting in the checkout line.

Using the system is optional so it should not draw objections for privacy concerns. To activate it, shoppers need to swipe a store-issued customer loyalty card in the display so that the carts know who they are. Seems like a creative and useful integration of technology. Hopefully, it’ll make the shopping experience better for the consumer rather than just bombarding them with ads.

User Comments: 5

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Nirkon said:
Seems ok, but I guess it'll be more ads then actually shopping.
greenman said:
Why don't they just scan the UV barcode on my forehead? Then big brother can help me as I shop too. Loyalty cards are an excellent method for profiling customers. Now, not only can they profile my habits, they can influence them too - right in the store! If too many people are on one side of the store causing a traffic jam, they'll tempt me with pizza so I cart myself away from the veggies into the frozen foods. They'll efficiently get me in the store, clock how long it takes me, and figure out the most efficient way to get me in and out with the largest grocery bill. I'm looking forward to the MediaCart 2.0 with the cerebral bluetooth implant that will tell me what I really want when I shop. And my Cart talks to me. It's the only one that really understands me. Don't touch my shopping Cart. Mine. Thank you, MediaCart.[Edited by greenman on 2008-01-18 08:52:51]
Eddie_42 said:
are you that gullible that you would only do what the ad said?
9Nails said:
I'm sorry for being sick in the head, but I can't stop thinking about how displays in a shopping cart would fit into an episode of "Pimp my Ride" for homeless people. Are 22's, ground effects and a spoiler future improvements waiting to be fitted to shopping carts? And I can imagine how it is going to make those said homeless people desire Oreo cookies while they push the carts down the street talking to Jesus. Again, sorry for my illness! :D
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