Future Cart: what a turn off!

OK, I know there’s a problem with supermarket trolleys going missing: to the tune of 200 per month at Fairprice, and going up to 300 during the Lunar New Year month, according to the co-operative-owned supermakret chain.

It’s all been in the news, with mrbrown, the grand-daddy of Singapore bloggers, sniffing at the loss making it into the headlines of the Straits Times and Channel News Asia.

But the public and the media obviously disagreed that the news is trivial as reflected by the continuing stream of postings and the comments on the lost trolley on STOMP (the SPH group’s interactive “citizen” journalism platform).

Fairprice is clearly not the lone sufferer as another post in STOMP at the start of this month shows. A citizen journalist wrote about and shared pictures of what he saw. A Cold Storage trolley was filched from the Bugis Junction outlet and how that outlet’s staff reacted to his alert.

Perhaps the alledged nonchalance of the Cold Storage staff is due to the fact that the Dairy Farm subsidiary has its own deterrence up its sleeve?

I came across one such apparent “solution” when I was at the Cold Storage Great World City outlet the other day. 

I’ve come across this “solution” be4 but didn’t pay much attention the first time round. But with the latest encounter, I was more alert, as I found the pop-up screen at the end of the trolley — called Future Cart* — irritatingly intrusive.

One face or another was yadada-ing on the screen about this or that product even as I tried to concentrate on what I needed to take off the shelves and put into my cart. There was no way I could turn off the faces or the voices as the pop up screen couldn’t be folded until I tuck it it into another cart.

And how could I do that while I was in the midst of shopping?

Sure, I could have gone back to the trolley bank and looked for a non-Future Cart but I didn’t want to make the change, especially when i had to transfer a a whole bunch of stuff I had already selected!

sure way to piss of your customer

Worse, each cycle of yadada-ing ended with a dire warning about what would happen should I, the shopper, be so brazen as to walk out of GWC with the trolley for which I’ve slotted in a 20-cent coin as deposit.

Talk about pissing off the customer when all this one wants is to do the mundane chore of shopping for meat, fish, veggies, fruits and groceries seamlessly and speedily. Without interference and without threat.

Too much to ask for? 

*The Future Cart system is touted as “the first in-store marketing innovation that truly allows consumer product brand marketers and retailers to interact on a personal level with shoppers at the point of purchase in the store where most purchasing decisions are made.”

No interaction for me, thanks! Gimme a break!

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2 thoughts on “Future Cart: what a turn off!

  1. Eh, not really been following these news, but I find it hard to believe that even those trolleys where u have to insert a $1 coin to release its lock/chain in order to use, and put back to retrieve your money, have failed in sg?

  2. U must have been away too long. Yup, stolen n then abandoned trolleys is part of the S’pore scene. Still, if you look at what’s happening at Fairprice, the 200 missing every month can’t be more than 5 per mth for each outlet. Divy that by the number of customers and the filch per capita per month isn’t that high. As for the $1 deposit, it’s hardly a deterrent. At some Cold Store outlets, a 20 ct coin works just as well and that decreases the incentive to return the trolley. I sometimes abandon my cart in the carpark because the escalating parking charges cld wipe out the 20ct I retrieve from returning it.

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