Indian company Infosys is bringing an internet-like experience to brick-and-mortar shopping. The IT and consulting firm launched ShoppingTrip 360, a“360-degree view of the shopping trip,” on July 31st. Infosys hopes to make retail shopping as smart as internet shopping. Measuring “how” shoppers buy, as opposed to merely “what” they buy. "ShoppingTrip360 leverages a network of wireless sensor-based applications within the store that allows people (shoppers), places (retailers) and products (CPG companies) to collaborate in real-time by creating an information ecosystem," explains Girish A Ramachandra, head of innovations practice, retail, CPG and logistics for


A wireless network connected to shelves, shopping baskets, and carts, produces a heat map to help stores place products effectively, where to conserve lighting, or know when to open another register if lines are long.

Intelligent shelf pads instantly inventory products. These can also help stores know how often products are picked up, considered, and returned to the shelf – something that a POS system can’t do.

For shoppers, there’s an opt-in cell phone “shopper concierge” service that allows them to organize their shopping lists (organizing by aisle would be very convenient, especially when going to an unfamiliar store), receive promotional offers, recipes or even be instructed on what wine goes with their meal.

Infosys funds the hardware and stores pay the subscription fee. Current in-store metrics services like RFID (Radar Frequency Identification) are expensive for retailers and are problematic in terms of privacy.

Hopefully, the two sides of ShoppingTrip 360 will be well merged. Imagine knowing before going to the store that there’s a twenty-minute wait in line once you get there, or that the store is packed because of a promotion.

By Mark Alvarez