October 19, 2011, 4:44 PM

Mobile app helps shoppers steer their grocery carts

A map shows precisely where products are located in aisles.

Lead Photo

The app not only displays product locations, but can offer shoppers a retailer's coupon.

Navigating inside a grocery store may no longer require looking up to read overhead signs and then scanning every shelf in an aisle. Point Inside Inc. has introduced a mobile app that displays a supermarket’s interior layout and pinpoints where specific products are located within the aisles.

The technology, which relies on a retailer supplying daily inventory amounts and the store layout to Point Inside, will get its first large-scale use when Meijer Inc., No. 319 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, expands what has been a five-store test to all of its 200 stores over the next couple of months, says Todd Sherman, Point Inside chief marketing officer.

Meijer’s version of the app, called Meijer Find-It and available for the iPhone and Android smartphones, currently is available for stores near the company’s Grand Rapids, MI-based headquarters. Meijer began testing the app last year. The merchant did not immediately respond to an Internet Retailer inquiry for comment.

The app enables retailers to better understand their consumers’ shopping and buying habits, Sherman says. Retailers can see which items consumers place in the app’s shopping list and compare that against the ones they actually purchase, he says. Retailers also can offer coupons within the app as the customer approaches an aisle. The shopper taps the coupon pop-up to add it to a digital coupon wallet.

Retailers can also monitor how many shoppers are in a store and using the app, and gauge how much time the shoppers spend in the store and in specific aisles, Sherman says. That can reveal which items are garnering the most attention, he notes.

Point Inside charges a set-up fee and a recurring licensing fee, but Sherman would not disclose those rates.

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