Smart Shelves: A Whole New Way to Market

grocery shoppingIn just two years, you could be in line at the grocery store and a video ad made just for your demographic could appear right before your eyes. That’s the idea behind “smart shelves” – a new way to reach out to shoppers.

Mondelez International (the snack food company behind Oreo, Ritz, Wheat Thins, Triscuit, and more) plans to use this virtual advertising idea to monitor how people shop and to influence their buying decisions.

In an article from ABC News, a Mondelez International spokeswoman explains, “Our goal is to understand how shoppers see, scan, spot, show interest and select products from the shelf in the store.”

Tracking Shopper Motions

The company will be working with Kinect, a Microsoft program from Windows, to track the motions of shoppers and respond accordingly with an ad based on their distance, demographic, and even the time of day. They will also incorporate product weight sensors to determine whether a shopper has picked something up.

Here’s how it will work: You’re a woman who’s in the check-out line and you see a video ad for crackers. Intrigued, you pick up the crackers and weigh whether you want to buy them or not. The “smart shelf” senses you’ve picked up the crackers and may present you with a coupon to sway your decision to buy them.

The company says it won’t store any photos or videos of customers and will be incorporating its shelves into the check-out section of grocery stores to begin. If they prove to be successful, there’s a possibility these shelves will expand to other areas of the store.

What Do You Think?

What are your thoughts on this idea? Is it smart and creative or do you think it’s too over-the-top? Leave us a comment!

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