Context Sensitive Advertising in Warehouses

Click here to have a virtual tour through the third Use Case


Context Sensitive Advertising will be tested in warehouses, malls or supermarkets (test area: Dublin, Ireland). Users which are in a mall receive according to their current position special offers on goods which are related to the goods in the area they are at that moment (in this use case interoperability issues between LAN (WLAN, Bluetooth etc.) and WAN (2.5-3G) are of high importance). As a basic technology Bluetooth networks will be used. Bluetooth networks are created whenever two devices come within a 10 meter range. Devices need not be in line-of-sight. Up to eight devices are supported by one Personal Area Network. By overlapping networks, up to 80 items can be linked. Proximity applications, like context sensitive advertising, in which Bluetooth devices are automatically connected when they come within range, will be crucial. Retail kiosks, pay phones, and other public access points will support proximity services.

Basic Scenario

The context sensitive advertising allows for an enhanced shopping experience by creating a seamless link between customers and retailers. Customers have a personal identification system" on their device, allowing retailers administrative access to their shopping preferences, to interact with and better serve them. While passing a storefront, shoppers will be impressed by an interactive displaying motion video and static content advertisements custom- tailored to their interests and mobile device. Retailers will have information at their fingertips that allowing them to tailor their product line and marketing strategies to the exact desires of the shopper, exceeding current methods of obtaining shopper preference information.


There are three different ways the advertisement is initiated:
  • Newsletter (context sensitive via the profile) There are several users registered to the system. The warehouse has recruited them by a special program. It is known, that these people are willing to participate in the advertisement information that will be sent to the users by SMS/MMS depending on their profile. The user is able to adjust his preferences via a web based administration tool with which he can adjust things like the frequency he wants to get information or the topics of the information. The advertisements are sent always context sensitive via the profile.
  • Push Advertisement when the user comes near the warehouse (context sensitive via the profile and location based to the warehouse) Coming near the store the user gets SMS/MMS advertisements depending on his profile. This could also be a coupon for e.g. wrangler trousers or something like that.
  • Pull Advertisement on the virtual warehouse (context sensitive) Browsing through the warehouse the user gets the best fitting clothes to every article in the virtual warehouse. So standing in the warehouse, the user can get information about fitting clothes on his mobile device. That can have strong affects on the users decisions. Fitting clothes to a specific article. If the user wants to buy something or maybe has already bought something and wants to know want clothes fit best to the article he bought, he can enter the article number and will get the information about fitting clothes.

System architecture and Data flow

The registered user gets push information in the form of a kind of newsletter about new stock in a warehouse by SMS or MMS e.g. every day or every week. When the user comes near the store at about 10-20 metres, he will be identified by the system and then he receives some advertisements depending on his profile he can update on the web. The used technology for recognition is bluetooth. Content is updated on the web with a Content Management System (CMS). An administrator creates new users, edits and deletes users and their profiles. He also updates store content and creates, edits and deletes newsletters and mailinglists.

Bluetooth recognition system

The architecture of the system in the warehouse acts the following way:
    1. The user comes near the warehouse.
    2. The system recognizes that there is a bluetooth device an tries to find out who it is and if the device has the permission to link with the system.
    3. The near by agent checks the permissions and the users profiles and checks if there is an action to do like sending a newsletter or an advertisement.
    4. If there is something to do the near by agent fires the trigger engine to do something. The area agent collects the data and user information and initiates the sending of the SMS/MMS to the mobile device.

The Virtual Store

The virtual store will be available on the web and on mobile devices (PDA, WAP). In the virtual store the user can
  • browse through the complete range of articles and have a look at it. A context sensitive search will e.g. offer the best trouser that fits to the pullover you just bought.
  • search by category to find the right clothes.
  • search by article number to get the fitting clothes to the just bought article.