MediaCart Holdings, Microsoft Corp. and Wakefern Food Corporation announced at the National Retail Federation’s 97th Annual Convention & Expo in New York this week, that Wakefern plans to pilot MediaCart’s next-generation computerized shopping carts for potential rollout to all ShopRite stores. The early pilot, conducted with Wakefern in its ShopRite stores, provided insights from both the consumer and retailer perspective that were adopted in the next-generation product. The nine-month pilot with Wakefern began in the spring of 2007. Microsoft’s Atlas Division will provide video ad serving on the MediaCart grocery cart screen, providing advertisers with the opportunity to reach shoppers at the point of purchase, and providing ShopRite customers with a more personalized shopping experience.
“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,” said Scott Ferris, general manager of the Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group at Microsoft. “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.”
By using Microsoft technologies, the MediaCart solution will enable anonymous ad targeting through data obtained through ShopRite’s customer loyalty card program. A shopper would scan his or her card at the MediaCart, and receive ads and promotional offers based on past purchases and/or saved shopping lists that could be uploaded from a home PC. No personally identifiable information will be shared with Microsoft, MediaCart or any advertiser as part of the ad serving process. The technology will also provide advertisers with reporting and analytics capabilities to assess performance of the ads in the stores.
In addition to the advertising shoppers will receive, they will also be able to save time and money with MediaCart-equipped shopping carts by obtaining electronic coupons, locating products in the store, performing comparative price checks, viewing store specials in aisle as they shop, viewing recipes and nutritional information, shopping using an electronic shopping list that is presented in aisle order, totaling the cost of the items in their baskets before checkout, and expediting the checkout using the cart-level checkout feature. This enhanced shopping experience helps differentiate ShopRite in the marketplace and drives brand and customer loyalty.
In addition to Microsoft’s Atlas technologies, the MediaCart solution is also built on Microsoft Windows CE and Microsoft SQL Server. Trials of the MediaCart solution are expected to begin in ShopRite stores in the second half of 2008.
From a small, struggling cooperative with eight members — all owners of their own grocery stores — Wakefern Food Corporation has grown into the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States and one of the largest employers in New Jersey. The cooperative is comprised of 44 members who individually own and operate supermarkets under the ShopRite banner. Today, Wakefern, the merchandising and distribution arm of the company, and the 200 ShopRite stores located throughout New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware, employ more than 47,000 people.
A long time supporter of key community efforts, ShopRite was named America’s Second Harvest Grocery Distributor of the Year (1999) for its ShopRite Partners In Caring program, a year-round initiative dedicated to fighting hunger in the communities served by ShopRite stores. Since its inception, ShopRite Partners In Caring has donated more than $15 million to more than 1,400 worthy charities.
Media Cart Holdings, Inc. was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Plano, Texas. Further information on MediaCart can be found at http://www.mediacart.com