Information Systems Integration – Messina

Shopping Cart Sensors

Walmart recently submitted a patent application for a shopping cart that will allow it to know what you are feeling inside its stores. While gripping the shopping cart, it will “track a customer’s heart rate, temperature, how tightly they’re gripping the cart’s handle, and other data like the speed at which the cart is being pushed” (Mogg, 2018). This data will then be transmitted to a server for analysis and initiate a response if necessary. No personal data will be collected, but it will leveraged to learn how shoppers respond to certain store conditions so they can change them accordingly. Also, Walmart explained how it could offer speedy assistance if it detects someone experiencing a sudden health issue like a rapidly increasing heart rate or temperature. This seems invasive, but at the same time could be useful to discover consumer shopping habits. I feel like it is a possibility that people may become more anxious knowing they are being monitored like this, which could in turn skew results unknowingly. If they are able to identify what stresses people out while shopping in their stores and resolve it, then it would ultimately be a useful idea. Is this a good technology investment for Walmart? Could their money be better used developing another, more useful idea?

5 Responses to Shopping Cart Sensors

  • Rebecca,
    I think this is a super interesting idea! The technology used here is just another way for Walmart to increase sales by hitting on the current emotions a customer is feeling inside the store. The aspect of detecting how customers are feeling in different part of stores I think can help Walmart better position their stores for a better customer experience. Also, I like how Walmart is not collecting personal data on the customer because with all the data leaks going on its smart to just stay away from it. On the flip side, I do agree that it could make people more anxious knowing their people monitored by using their shopping carts. Ultimately, I think this is a smart investment if they can overcome the anxiousness on being monitored.

  • Hi Rebecca,
    I really enjoy reading your post. It is a really cool idea that Walmart uses the cart’s handle as the way to identify customers’ shopping habit. I also agree with your question that if this technology is a good investment and worth the money spent. Developing sensors for that many carts will not cost a small amount of investment.

  • This is an interesting idea from a data research perspective; however, I’m uncertain to whether implementing this wide-scale would be a great investment. I think Wal-Mart should implement this technology in a few stores, gather and analyze the data, and make conclusive findings based these stores. After reaching their conclusions, Wal-Mart could consider making data-driven decisions to solve issues throughout their stores on a much larger scale.

  • Rebecca,
    I think this a really interesting idea. I think this could really improve shopping experiences for retail consumers. Perhaps consumers subliminally prefer a colder store than a warmer store. If Walmart was to implement sensors on their shopping carts it would help track such a thing. I think if Walmart were to put sensors on shopping carts, it may initially be expensive. But would benefit them tremendously in the long run.

  • Hi Rebecca,

    I honestly think this is a great idea! I know personally I get very anxious being in the grocery store for too long because there are so many people around me constantly moving, searching, talking, and what not. Sometimes when I am shopping I can’t even do a full grocery haul because I just can’t handle the disorganization and congestion of the store. This would really help someone like me who does not want to be stuck in the “traffic” of shopping for groceries. If they can track where I have the highest heart rate and check that against the most crowded parts of the store, they can redesign the store layout for a more efficient shopping experience. I think the money is a great investment for Wal-Mart. The money they use to implement this will probably lead to more expenses for store redesigns, but that would help retain customers from switching to online grocery shopping. Thanks for the interesting read!

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