Natural Foods Merchandiser
The Like Machine brings social influence to store aisles

The Like Machine brings social influence to store aisles

New retail technology encourages shoppers to endorse a product right in the aisles, with a simple push of a button.

It’s obvious that social media is a trends driver. But at the root of it, Pinterest boards, Instagram posts, Facebook likes and even Amazon reviews all basically provide shoppers with the same thing: an invaluable vote of confidence from friends and advocates on a particular trend, product, service or store.

The Like Machine, a new technology from TLM Holdings Inc. and Insignia Systems Inc., aims to harness this influence and bring it into store aisles by capturing and displaying “likes” right on the shelf, rather than buried in a mobile phone.

The Like Machine is a small electronic device that encourages shoppers to endorse a product right in the aisles, with a simple push of a button. The “like” count is displayed on the machine’s screen, showing other shoppers--as well as the store--what the local community thinks of a particular product, right at the point of purchase.

TLM reports that, in beta testing, The Like Machine has increased product lifts over 62 percent, effectively engaging shoppers of all ages.

“Shoppers are super busy,” said Rebekah Goldberg, principal at TLM Holdings. “They do not have the time to use their phone in-aisle to look up basic information on the fly, or to write long reviews on the products they use every day.” With The Like Machine, she said, “wherever your point of purchase is, that’s where shoppers will be, interacting with your products, and expressing their opinions immediately. It’s local. It’s personal. It’s endorsement at the point of purchase.”

The Like Machine will be available to all independent retailers within 12-18 months, Goldberg estimated, but interested retailers can contact the company for case-by-case consideration.

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