Wal-Mart tracks shoppers and sales


Wal-Mart tracks shoppers and sales

Will Hadfield

Wal-Mart is looking to deploy an IT system that tracks shoppers' progress around its stores and compares their movements to actual sales.

The world’s largest retailer could use the system to calculate “audience ratings” for the products on its shelves. Armed with this data, store planners would be able to assess the effectiveness of in-store promotions.

Wal-Mart hopes that the system will enable it to attract more advertising money to its in-store promotions.
The system,called Prism, was developed by a consortium made up of retailers and large suppliers.

Infra-red beams are used to track shoppers’ movements around the store. Prism then correlates shoppers’ movements with actual sales data.

The Prism consortium is made up of Coca-cola, Kelloggs, Kroger, Procter & Gamble, Walgreens and Walt Disney.

It has undertaken a month-long pilot study in 10 US stores, and plans to attract more retailers and suppliers to the consortium.

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