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Is Apricart the New Shopping Buddy?

'Smart' cart allows shoppers to scan and pay while mapping the path to purchase

lempert report

Back in 2005, Stop & Shop, in partnership with IBM and Symbol Technologies, tested a PC-based tablet that was mounted to a shopping cart. The idea was that people could find products in the store, add up how much they were spending by scanning the products and even preorder from the deli. Needless to say, this technology and Shopping Buddy did not become successful and pervasive. What Stop & Shop found was that the most popular use for it was the simple calculator that was built in.

Enter Apricart, which allows shoppers to place items in the cart and pay on the cart checkout experience. Even more important, Apricart’s proprietary technology collects in-store shopper behavior data and instantaneously provides customer-relevant content on the screen. Think Amazon, who knows what you want and suggests it before you do!

It's a fusion-sensor technology, machine vision, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Apricart designed the unobtrusive camera system to scan goods and collect path-to-purchase shopper behavior data discreetly. The amount of shopper data collected is anonymous, but if a shopper wants greater savings or promotions they can choose to identify themselves.

In an interview on Forbes.com with Brittain Ladd, Lenny Murphy, a serial entrepreneur and widely-respected thought leader in the insights industry, said, “Apricart provides data about the grocery shopping experience not previously obtainable in a trillion dollar-plus industry. Grocery retailers and consumer packaged goods companies alike depend on understanding the customer journey, and Apricart provides unprecedented intelligence, including in-the-moment unique path-to-purchase data; insights using predictive analytics; a platform to influence shopper behavior at the point of decision, and immediate feedback on promotions.”

The hope for supermarkets is to offer shoppers more personal and better shopping experiences. Much like the early Shopping Buddy, Apricart can identify the exact location for each ingredient, but it goes further as shoppers can scan recipes and will show where each ingredient is located in the store.

Make no mistake about it, this is a data play; the question is whether consumers will use Apricart or feel that their privacy is being compromised. Without use, there is no data.

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