May 11, 2021 •

Daniel Goins, Susan Brosnan, Patricia Hogan, Jessica Snead

Many customers prefer not to share personal information, which increases the difficulty of targeting them with shopping offers. This solution utilizes ambient scent and customer location in order to make more personal offers and suggestions

In order to entice customers to purchase a product, some solutions rely on personal information to advertise. This personal information could include demographic info, past purchasing history, location, etc. Some customers don't want to give out personal information in order to receive an offer but may still respond to customized offers. This also applies in the reverse where an advertiser would like to customize an offer but without any personal information; the advertisement/offer tends to be ignored since it doesn't apply to that person.

This solution utilizes ambient scent and customer location in order to make more personal offers and suggestions. Assume a scent detecting device in the store can capture smells and correlate that into items or types of location (i.e. forest, horse barn, detergents, spices, etc.). It would then use that information when mobile shopping to suggest items or make offers: you might need mosquito repellent or 50% off charcoal or a new soap, etc. The scent-sensing device could be attached to a store-owned mobile device or an in-store offer station, or less likely could be attached to a personal phone, or in a unit near the store entrance or in units attached to shelves.

  • If the device recognizes the scents of another customer's product, ie. laundry detergent, then offer a deal on their brand instead.
  • Use “Electronic Sensing (e-sensing)” devices in store to look for smells and then communicate with store mobile device or local signage to suggest items or make offers.
  • It could recognize scents of food types or seasonings and offer you a deal on something it thinks you would like. Also based off the food scents, it could suggest recipes based on those scents and make suggestions/offers on the ingredients.
  • It could also detect the smells of customers coming by the store to try and get them to come into the store or as they're walking in the store advertise products (on digital signage) that might apply to them or waft scents of products the customer might want to buy, back at the customer to entice the customer to come into the store.

Supporting Art:  
There are breathalyzer attachments for phones - for sniffing breath

Other odor detectors are bigger and would have to be mounted at various points in the store to detect odor and send data to an application that then related the odor with the shopper's location in the store and sent appropriate offers.
Portable odor detector



The game-changing potential of smartphones that can smell


TGCS Reference 1207



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