Mondelēz International to introduce “smart shelves” for personalized advertising in-store by 2015

Mondelēz International, a snacks and confectionary manufacturer, plans to deliver maximum personalization to in-store purchasing experience by 2015. The so-called smart shelves placed in the checkout aisle and near snacks will be equipped with sensors that will be scanning the shoppers’ appearance to determine age and gender in order to deliver the most relevant content about the snacks.

“Knowing that a consumer is showing interest in the product gives us the opportunity to engage with them in real-time,” commented Mondelēz CIO Mark Dajani to WSJ. “When people walk by, it’s a missed opportunity. We must know how the consumer behaves in the store.”

WSJ notes that on determining the sex and age of a consumer, the shelf will display the product that a particular customer is more likely to buy (for instance, gum for boys, whole-wheat cookies and milk chocolate bars for women). If the shopper looks at the display for a longer time, it may show an advertising targeted at the consumers from the relevant age/gender category. The shelf may also be offering shoppers a coupon for the products, which have been picked off of the shelf.

The smart shelf exists in a prototype version at the moment, and the company plans to introduce it to the market in 2015. The shelves are said to feature some integrated sensors based on Microsoft’s gesture-based Kinect technology. The technology will respect privacy, so no photos, videos or personal info will be captured—the anonymous profiles of the consumers will be aggregated and analyzed to reveal the consumer interactions with products.

In early 2011, Kraft Foods Inc. that later split into two companies, Mondelēz and Kraft Foods Group Inc., presented a smart kiosk that scanned the shoppers’ facial features to determine their age and gender, and then offered them some food-themed recommendations based on the data.

Cover image by REUTERS/Michael Buholzer