Microsoft wheels out digital shopping cart test for Q3

Microsoft is bringing digital advertising to the grocery cart, says a news story on CRM Daily (and all over the place this morning).

The software maker spent four years working with Plano, Texas-based MediaCart Holdings Inc. on a grocery cart-mounted console that helps shoppers find products in the store, then scan and pay for their items without waiting in the checkout line.

Microsoft’s acquisition of aQuantive, an online advertising company, last year for $6 billion shored up the company’s capacity to serve video ads onto these grocery cart screens.

Starting in the second half of 2008, the companies plan to test MediaCart in Wakefern Food Corp.’s ShopRite supermarkets on the East Coast.

My favorite quote: “This is not all necessarily about bombarding consumers, about targeting advertising,” said Scott Ferris, general manager of Microsoft’s Advertiser and Publisher Solutions group. “It’s about also making the shopping experience better for the consumer.”

Well, were I Scott I might have rephrased the not ALL about bombarding consumers bit.

Interesting. The immediate thought is these things will be freakin’ expensive because of the screen, and batteries and all. And they better be awfully durable because they will get the crap beat out of them. Bottle-pickers will be loving having blinged-out carts as they wander back alleys.

However, the screens do get advertisers really close to shoppers at that last moment before those shoppers decide what to toss into the cart. And the metrics associated with all that.

I’m just not sure the economics of it will work.

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2 Comments on “Microsoft wheels out digital shopping cart test for Q3”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Interesting but I can’t see it taking off in real world use. Any store using these I doubt will let them leave the store, (ever do the grocery cart dash in the rain?) and what good is a grocery cart you can’t wheel to your car?

  2. Michael Says:

    Or the physics. Those batteries will all die…


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