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Contenuto archiviato il 2024-05-24

Mobile Shopping of Electronically Referenced Products

Exploitable results

Shopping is jokingly referred to as retail therapy for consumers. MyGROCER may provide relief to retailers with its blend of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and wireless technologies. Their software application will make best use of RFID to generate value-added information for both customers and retailers, providing 'on the spot' information about products and instant billing. Data about consumer behaviour and interests can also be collected. The IST-funded MyGROCER project has developed an innovative software application addressing the retail sector. Its solution combines radio frequency product identification, wireless network communications techniques (i.e. WLAN) and information technology resources using actual database technologies and protocols (OLAP, XML, HTML, WAP). This combination will transform current shopping methods by offering the customer accurate information about each and every product in the shopping trolley. Unlike barcodes, RF-tags uniquely identify each product. In addition, they do not require physical scanning; the RF-Tags are constantly transmitting their presence to the RF Receiver positioned on the shopping trolley or in the vicinity. Their application will also quicken check-out thanks to active billing performed at the trolley terminal for each product deposited in the trolley. It keeps consumer behaviour and point of sale data allowing retailers to extract marketing data. The MyGROCER application offers innovative consumer services such as navigation and self-checkout, and interacts with the customer while shopping, influencing purchases at the point of decision with personalised promotions based on the consumer profile and grocery list. The RFID also allows MyGROCER to behave as an anti-theft mechanism, like the way that clothes or music CDs are protected, reducing losses due to theft, misplacement etc. The MyGROCER consortium comprises a partnership made up from Pouliadis, Nokia, Atmel, Unisys, Helsinki University of Technology, Atlantic, Procter & Gamble and Eltrun - Athens University of Economics and Business. Combining wireless identification, remote radio communication and adapted software applications that make use of the most recent standards leads to better e-services. Along with the technology, MyGROCER has developed a new business model that aims at transforming the way traditional shopping is managed. Three scenarios are envisaged: In the shop, at home and on the move. When the customer enters a shop, he/she logs onto the MyGROCER application via the trolley's terminal. The system identifies the user and displays the shopping list on the shopping trolley's display. The trolley's system can identify the placing of the products in (or out of) the trolley, access pricing information, display promotions, and relates to other in-shop applications. At the check-out, the smart shopping trolley system transmits the list of items to the cashier. It transmits the purchased item list, helps generate the receipt and tells the cahier the amount to be paid. The customer's shopping list is kept in the local system to be used in future promotions. Meanwhile, the data are transmitted to the supermarket IT system and can help update the shop's inventory in real-time and initiate the necessary measures to replenish the stock. At home, providing the goods are stored in an identified location equipped with a RF-Receiver, a local server (PC, PDA, set-top box, etc.) can keep track of the local inventory of goods. If the system is used, a 'restock' notice can be generated and transmitted over the Internet, for items that aren't put back in place after a predetermined period of time. It contributes to producing a 'shopping list'. The consumer can electronically retrieve his/her shopping list (PC, PDA, mobile phone) and conduct remote/ mobile shopping transactions. On the move, customers can similarly access their shopping list via a wirelessly connected mobile system, access their data and then edit their grocery list. Home delivery could be requested and customers can even consider shopping around for the cheapest products based on electronic bids transmitted by the supermarkets. All this results in easier shopping, well-informed and happy users spending less time shopping. A prototype currently exists which has enjoyed positive feedback from consumers. Its actual roll-out has yet to begin. The weakness of the proposed system is that RFID is still very expensive, especially to be used on an item level. Nonetheless, with real-time in-store points of sale, consumers integrated seamlessly into the supply chain and efficient sales and forecast information from real-time consumer behaviour patterns MyGROCER should lead the way to retailing being redefined in the not too distant future. Promoted by the IST Results Service

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