Space Age Shopping

Self service checkouts heralded a new age of automated influence on the supermarket but transcending this is a new ‘Media Cart’ or space age super trolley!

The Media Cart expected to hit Melbourne supermarkets in July can display your shopping list, direct you to the products you came for and add up the totals as you cruise the aisles.

Although the “VIP trolleys” boast additional features that can help shoppers find their way around the store, check prices and compare value of products and display on-screen product information, the information that it collects also triggers video advertisements to display on the screen at the most opportune moments.

And it doesn’t just monitor your shopping list (which you can create online and connect via your loyalty card). It can also track where you’re headed and tempt you into buying, for example, a bottle of Coke on your way to pick up the toilet paper.

And if you succumbed to a bag of corn chips last time you visited the supermarket, your trolley could try its luck for a second time.

What’s more… if you spend a couple of minutes deciding which chocolate to treat your family to this week, you could potentially be bombarded with a series of indulgent chocolate ads.

But while the technology can help you to stick to a budget by adding up the total price as you shop, and alert you to specials, some critics have suggested some shoppers would find it difficult not to be influenced by the advertising.

On the other hand, the trolleys could become a highly efficient marketing tool. Already research from Media Cart trials has found store sales lifted 10 per cent and sales of advertised products lifted 30 to 40 per cent.

Visit Media Cart online for further details and video of this computerised cart in action!

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Inga Yandell
Explorer and photo-journalist, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide educational resources and a platform for science exploration.
Inga Yandell

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