Premier Retail Networks Strikes Ad Deals for Interactive Shopping Carts

Premier Retail Networks is making deals with major advertisers to bring ad messages to interactive electronic displays on shopping carts, the in-store media company said Wednesday. Messages delivered to the shopping cart displays, installed and operated by Cabco Group, will complement an array of in-store media controlled by PRN including other place-based video screens and radio.

The first companies to advertise via the shopping cart displays are Unilever, Cadbury Adams, Bush's Baked Beans, American Greetings, and Church & Dwight Co., which includes brands like Arm & Hammer, Aim toothpaste, Arrid deodorants, and Scrub Free.

Their ads will appear on screens in Cabco's TV Karts in Wal-Mart, one of PRN's biggest retail partners.

The carts were developed by the New Zealand-based company to entertain children during the shopping experience. In addition to screens displaying content from sources like Nick Jr. and Hit Entertainment, the carts are modified with colorful plastic molding that makes them look like make-believe vehicles. Meanwhile, separate screens deliver advertising messages to shopping adults.



The Cabco TV Karts are able to adjust ad messages according to the shopper's location in the store, with promotions for products appearing as the shopper approaches the display. This fits with Wal-Mart's recent introduction of a new technology-based system for targeting shoppers more accurately while they're in the retail environment. The product of a joint effort by PRN, Studio2 and DS-IQ, the Internet-protocol Smart Network will continually analyze point-of-sale figures to determine which content is most effective in driving sales, dynamically updating programming and advertising to maximize sales lift.

The new network delivers different content to screens in different parts of the store, targeting it to the products sold in each location. With about 27,000 screens in 2,700 stores, that means an average of 10 different content streams per store, all delivered via IPTV and updated in real time by the central server based on the point-of-sale data. These include "welcome screens" near the entrance, "category screens" in the grocery, health and beauty, and electronics areas (the most visited parts of the store), and "endcap screens" near the endcap displays throughout the store.

For its part, Cabco currently says its displays reach almost six million shoppers a week, with an average visit duration of 58 minutes. In addition to Wal-Mart, a number of large grocery store and retail chains have adopted the carts, including Publix, H-E-B, Dominick's, and Meijer.

Meanwhile, one of PRN's retail partners--Shop-Rite--struck a deal earlier this year with another company, MediaCart, that installs digital displays on shopping carts. For Shop-Rite, MediaCart teamed up with Microsoft to track individual purchases and deliver discounts via the shopping cart screens. It's unclear whether these displays are coordinated with PRN's in-store content.

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