The idea is that, if a certain product is seen to be popular, shoppers are likely to choose it too. The challenge is to keep customers informed about what others are buying. Enter smart-cart technology. In Mr Usmani's supermarket every product has a radio frequency identification tag, a sort of barcode that uses radio waves to transmit information, and every trolley has a scanner that reads this information and relays it to a central computer. As a customer walks past a shelf of goods, a screen on the shelf tells him how many people currently in the shop have chosen that particular product. If the number is high, he is more likely to select it too.As evidence that this will work, the author references a market where people download previously unknown songs based on how they are ranked by previous downloaders and the recommendation system that Amazon uses.
Do you think this strategy will have a significant impact on sales in grocery stores? Personally, I am not sure that people buy what is "popular" when buying groceries as much as when buying music or books, but I may be underestimating the herd mentality that buyers have in general.