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Move over free product delivery, Google proposes free people delivery
Physical stores have had a tough time of it recently, thanks to mobile and e-commerce. However, a new Google patent that could offer ad-supported free taxi rides for customers to outlets may prove a way to bring people to businesses.
Google's latest ad foray may see potential business customers being whisked to the point of sale via taxi following the US Patent and Trademark office award of a patent for an ad-based taxi service.
An algorithm tracking where people are and what they are looking to purchase, coupled with whether it's cost effective to stump up the cost of a taxi fare to the business premises, spells a huge leap forward in digital marketing.
"The invention involves automatically comparing the cost of transportation and the potential profit from a completed transaction using a number of real-time calculations. For example, the calculation may consider various factors including a consumer's current location, the consumer's most likely route and form of transportation (such as train, personal car, taxi, rental car, or shared vehicle), the consumer's daily agenda, the price competing advertisers are willing to pay for the customer to be delivered to alternate locations, and other costs. In this regard, the customer's obstacles to entering a business location are reduced while routing and cost calculations are automatically handled based on the demand for the advertiser's goods and potential profit margins."
The idea does have its limits. As CNET points out, if a person is searching for a car to buy then a free trip to the showroom would be a viable proposition. However, you're probably not going to get a free lift to buy dental floss.
Image via Shutterstock
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