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November 21, 2002 - Moraga -- Safeway is testing a simple version of the high-tech shopping cart from Klever Marketing, a Salt Lake City-based company that's developing shopping carts that use a wireless device to monitor customers as they move through the aisles.
The carts allow supermarkets to make pitches to customers right as they're choosing what to buy. After emitting a soft chime sound, the cart computer displays an item -- along with its discount offer -- that's located in the aisle. A panel attached to the shelf points out where the product is located.
The screen also includes news, weather, recipes, nutrition information and list of where products are located. Laced into that information are product pitches.
Safeway's high-tech cart is focused on using customer buying histories to tailor discounts. Customers swipe their Safeway Club cards -- the loyalty card customers must have to get any store discounts -- through a cart computer called Magellan. The machine's screen displays several discounts that are partly based on the shopper's buying history, which is tracked by the loyalty card. For example, because the computer knows you buy Tide laundry detergent, it may offer you a discount on it. Frequency discounts are also delivered; the more often a customer shops and the more money he or she spends, the more discounts Safeway offers.