Grocery cart advertising

Seems mostly like a waste to me.  I’ve grocery shopped in 5 states in the past 3 years, and most of them have had the stupid plastic tack-on boards holding pictures of local ‘REALTOR(tm)’s who inevitably freak me out, staring at me while I’m sizing up my bananas.  Does anyone buy anything from these people?  It honestly seems like it’s a bit of a drain on local economies, especially when the local ad money is going in to large grocery chain pockets (Kroger, etc.).

If in-cart advertising worked, you’d *think* stores would put their weekly flyers in the bottom of the carts, so that it was the first thing you saw as you were walking in the store, pushing your cart to the vegetables and fruits, thinking about what you wanted.  Given the glacial pace of change in most businesses, perhaps no one in a decision-making position has ever considered this though.   Imagine the bottom of the wire cart had a plastic flap that held a color flyer (those kind that they have at the entrance that few people ever take) in hard-plastic goodness, keeping it safe from harm whilst shoppers glanced at it during the initial 10-20 seconds in the store.  My bet is that, if the offers were good, and easy to find in the store, sales of those items would go up.  All carts could have the same flyers, or different flyers could be rotated amongst carts, to test for ad effectiveness.

Perhaps in-cart advertising really doesn’t work, and that’s why stores would rather sell-out their ‘space’ inventory to local businesses who can’t really track efficacy, but want to be ‘seen’ in the community.  If it really worked, wouldn’t we see stores using that space more effectively?  Given the food/impulse aspect of the grocery store/cart motif, I can more easily imagine someone saying “yeah, I’ll get that second pumpkin pie on special” (which they see staring them in the face from the bottom of their cart) than I can someone standing in the frozen food aisle calling the REALTOR(tm) grinning at them from behind Doritos at the back of their cart, cause they just can’t wait for a ‘free appraisal!’.

Perhaps this is an idea I should prototype and patent?


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