Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Barcode Culture

Barcode gathering device prioritizes shopping
  [vote for,

Almost all products sold through retail outlets have barcodes. This idea is a system that makes life easier, uses existing data infrastructure and pays for itself.

Phase I - Roll-out

An electronic device (mobile phone, PDA or store-supplied dedicated scanner) can be used to scan and gather barcodes in stores. You go to the checkout without a trolley. You download your shopping into the register, pay and the products are loaded from inventory, bagged (and/or delivered) and restocked automatically.

The store can carry fewer items on the shelves, and reduces inventory, labour, rental and shoptheft. Consumers avoid wibbly-wobble trolleys, melted ice-cream, check-out delays and still get their in-store shopping experience.

Also, the concept handles mixed-format shopping. If the consumer wants to select a particular product item, like a melon or even 112g of sliced salami, he/she can use a pre-programmed scale with a barcode printer.

Phase II - Once bar-code shopping culture is established

Everybody can gather barcodes while out shopping, on the internet, in the doorway of their refrigerator, or whatever. They download their barcode devices at home into their PC, sort items into categories, prioritize and budget.

Barcode websites act as clearing houses. On-line retailers can automatically bid to fill orders. This reduces overhead and working capital costs and provides an alternative channel for retailers to clear inventory.

Not everything on the barcode list needs to be bought at once. Lower priority items can be moved to public or private wish-lists. No more month-end blues. No more what do I buy for Uncle Ted dilemmas.

The clearing web-site makes its money from thin margins, subsidised by super-conventient and highly-targeted advertising. "Hey I see you have a basic B&D power drill on your list. You bought a heavy picture frame yesterday. wouldn't you rather buy a model with a hammer-action? Homebase offers one for a similar price."

FloridaManatee, Dec 29 2002

Contains some of the concepts mentioned http://www.symbol.c...tems/pss_flyer.html
Thought [FloridaManatee] might find it interesting. [half, Oct 17 2004]


       semi-related (link)
half, Dec 30 2002

       An outrageously sensible vision of things to come. Croissant.   

       But please give it a more descriptive title than, "Barcode". I can't think of what it might be at the mo, as I am still quasi-asleep.
friendlyfire, Dec 31 2002

       One of the best ideas I've seen lately. I'd have settled for merely getting rid of the "wibbly-wobble trolleys".
X2Entendre, Dec 31 2002

       I really like that alot. Personally, think everything would be a hell of alot better that way, with the exception of produce and similar items. But, not just supermarkets could employ this. Back in the early days we had the luxuary of buying things in stores and having them shiped to our houses, that way you dont have to carry a bunch of bags.
sartep, Apr 22 2003

       I say skip the big warehouse entirely and just let customers browse online. For big-ticket items like cars and washing machines you'd probably still want to view the item in person, but I don't need to have a face-to-face encounter with my breakfast cereal and toilet paper (especially not both at once! *shudders at mental picture and moves on*) in order to decide what to buy. Other than that, great idea!
submitinkmonkey, Mar 16 2005


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