Microsoft Corporation has teamed up with MediaCart Holdings and Wakefern Food Corporation to bring you ads while you shop. In the second half of 2008, Wakefern plans to pilot MediaCart’s next-generation computerized shopping carts, built on Microsoft Windows CE and Microsoft SQL Server, for potential rollout to all ShopRite stores. Microsoft’s Atlas Division will provide video ad serving on the MediaCart grocery cart screen (can you picture grocery cart accidents?), providing advertisers with the opportunity to reach shoppers at the point of purchase. Shoppers can scan their card at the MediaCart to receive ads and promotional offers based on past purchases and/or saved shopping lists that could be uploaded from a home PC.
It’s not just about advertising, however. Customers will be able to use MediaCart-equipped shopping carts to obtain electronic coupons, locate products in the store, perform comparative price checks, view store specials as they shop, view recipes and nutritional information, shop using an electronic shopping list that is presented in aisle order, total the cost of the items in their baskets before checkout, and speed up the checkout using the cart-level checkout feature. Microsoft emphasizes that no personally identifiable information will be shared with any of the companies but the technology will provide advertisers with reporting and analytics capabilities to assess performance of the ads in the stores.
“In working with companies like MediaCart, we’re continuing to push the envelope in the digital advertising realm to enable new and innovative ways for advertisers and agencies to create brand loyalty and engage with their target audiences in a highly relevant, measurable and targeted way. Digital advertising opportunities are expanding rapidly into new areas, as many of consumers’ daily activities, such as shopping, become increasingly ‘connected,’ and Microsoft is committed to working with advertisers and agencies to take advantage of these opportunities as they unfold,” said Scott Ferris, general manager of the Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group at Microsoft.