Stop & Shop’s Shopping Buddy Pilot Moves Forward

Nov 03, 2004

By Stuart Silverman

Stop & Shop has decided to roll out a system of intelligent shopping carts developed and marketed by Cuesol and IBM in three stores where it has been conducting a pilot program.
The chain has plans to add another 20 to the program in the first quarter of 2005.

Stop & Shop’s new “Shopping Buddy” includes a wireless, touch-screen IBM computer on the shopping cart, equipped with a laser scanner to allow shoppers to scan items as they
place them in the cart and to use loyalty cards to alert the store that they have arrived.

The application also keeps a running total of the items in the shopping cart and notifies shoppers of promotions in the aisle as the shopper approaches them. Other benefits described
in the companies’ joint press release include:

    • A display of the shopper’s buying history and favorites
    • A shopping list, potentially entered at home and emailed to the store
    • The ability to place a deli order from the cart
    • A tally of the shopper’s loyalty program points and reward level
    • Running cart totals and allowing for rapid self-checkout

According to an article in the Nov. 1st issue of Supermarket News, while at the Global Electronic Marketing Conference, Bob Anderson, director of customer relationship
management for Stop & Shop, the retailer saw a bump in store revenue in the pilot stores during the 12-month test. He attributed 75 percent of the ROI for the system to the
revenue gains and the remainder to labor savings in the deli and at checkout.

Moderator’s Comment: This sounds like a promising technology that provides both shopper convenience as well as a
stronger merchandising tool. Will it work in the field as well as the press portrays?

What could be bad? Well,
take a look
at some of the comments over at
It looks like some geeks have already figured out how to hack into the systems.

$3 Car RC attached to a $5 memo player slid into handlebars with messages, “buy” “you are overweight”, “you don’t need that”, “not on special, full
price”, “other brand cheaper” and “I saw that” and “He’s Cute” “computercart, thank you for shopping at ……; done.

A UK firm fitted RC brakes to a trolley, causing trolley to erratically steer on demand – done. The funny aspect was seeing the reaction of another person taking it, after
being rejected by the 1st, and it then steering flawlessly.

Stuart Silverman – Moderator

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