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System for providing localized shopping information

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Title: System for providing localized shopping information.
Abstract: A localization service is provided that provides users with online information on local retailers that sell particular products. A user can perform a search using a web page associated with the localization service or by searching using an internet search engine. The user's search includes a search origin. The search origin may be defined in terms of location information such as a place name or a postal code. A search for a particular product at local retailers may be made using search parameters such as search origins, product names, model numbers, product categories, and product attributes. The localization service may provide the user with search results in the form of web pages that list which retailers sell the desired product in the vicinity of the search origin. A targeted advertisement server at the localization service may use display criteria to determine which targeted advertisements should be displayed for the user. ...


Browse recent Local.com patents - Irvine, CA, US
Inventors: Roger B. Spreen, Michael S. Robertson, Michael J. Van Riper, James J. Ryan
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120010998 - Class: 705 1454 (USPTO) - 01/12/12 - Class 705 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120010998, System for providing localized shopping information.

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BACKGROUND

This invention relates generally to computer systems, and more particularly, to systems that assist users in locating products of interest at local retailers.

Web-based shopping comparison services are available that allow users to compare product prices at online retailers. In a typical scenario, a user browses to a shopping comparison service home page and initiates a search for a product of interest. The user can enter a product\'s model number or more general information such as a desired type of product. The shopping comparison service identifies online retailers that carry suitable products. The user is generally presented with a web page containing a list of prices for the product of interest and a list of associated online retailers at which the product is available. Web pages such as these are often indexed by internet search engines.

Online shopping comparison services are helpful when users are interested in purchasing products online, but do not assist a user who is interested in purchasing a product at a brick and mortar store. The online retailers that are located may not even have brick and mortar establishments, let alone establishments that are in the user\'s vicinity.

A user who wants to locate a local retailer who sells a product of interest may therefore turn to an online directory service. With an online directory service, a user can locate retailers who sell certain types of products by performing a directory search. For example, a user who is interested in purchasing a particular model of television set can attempt to locate local electronics dealers by performing a search using the search term “electronics.” However, online directory services are not able to provide pricing or availability information for particular products.

It would therefore be desirable to be able to provide improved local shopping information online.

SUMMARY

In accordance with the present invention, an online localization service is provided that provides users with information on which local retailers sell particular products.

A user with a web browser may perform a search for a product and location of interest using an Internet search engine or using a query engine associated with the localization service. The location of interest, which is sometimes referred to as a search origin, may be defined by a place name (e.g., the user\'s city), a zip code, or other geographic terms. The product of interest may be defined using product terms such as a product name, a product model number, a product category, etc.

The user may be provided with search results that match the user\'s search parameters. The search results may include a list of universal resource locators, each of which corresponds to a web page associated with the localization service. When the user clicks on a desired universal resource locator, the universal resource locator and its embedded user search parameters are provided to the localization service.

The localization service has databases. The localization service may extract the search parameters from the universal resource locator when the localization service receives the universal resource locator from the user over the internet. A page generation engine may use information in the databases and the extracted search parameters to dynamically generate a web page for the user. The web page may include a list of which retailers in the vicinity of the search origin carry the product for which the user is searching. Web pages such as these may contain pricing information, information on how far each retailer is from the search origin, product images and other product information, and promotional information.

The localization service may have an advertisement server that applies display criteria such as location-based display criteria to the search parameters that are received from the user. The search parameters and display criteria may be used to determine which targeted advertisements are to be displayed for the user.

Further features of the invention, its nature and various advantages will be more apparent from the accompanying drawings and the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a diagram of an illustrative system for a localization service that can be used to provide information on locally available products to interested users in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 show illustrative product detail pages that may be displayed to a user by a localization service in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 shows an illustrative product category page that may be displayed for a user by a localization service in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 shows an illustrative store detail page that may be displayed for a user by a localization service in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram of illustrative databases that may be used by a localization service in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a flow chart of illustrative steps involved in establishing and maintaining databases for a localization service in a system of the type shown in FIG. 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a flow chart of illustrative steps involved in using a localization service to provide users with information on locally available products in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 10 and 11 contain a flow chart of illustrative steps involved in using a page generation engine to provide a user with pages such as a store detail page, product detail page, and product category page in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.



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Data processing: financial, business practice, management, or cost/price determination
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120010998 A1
Publish Date
01/12/2012
Document #
13238489
File Date
09/21/2011
USPTO Class
705 1454
Other USPTO Classes
705 2662
International Class
06Q30/00
Drawings
10



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