Point of Sale explored some of the modern consumer benefits of this iconic product dispenser, as well as the implications for marketing and sales. No longer limited to sodas, candy and cigarettes, readers may be surprised at some of the products available through vending machines. You won’t find them everywhere, but their popularity is likely to increase as savvy marketers unite product form with function and message. Automated retail is a new way to bring products to customers without waiting for them to come to you, and to reach customers in an innovative, exciting and non-traditional way.
Take Corelle dinnerware, for example. Most consumers have been told through numerous marketing spiels that Corelle won’t break. To reinforce that message tangibly and to quiet the doubting Thomases, the company has introduced Corelle in vending machines. Their chip- and crack-resistance is proven as they tumble through the various pully levels and into the consumers’ hands.
A beer manufacturer in Australia wanted to sell more beer to rugby fans. They reversed the “no tilt” rule of pinball machines and created a vending dispenser that requires the consumer to slam against the machine to release the product.
Redbox® movie rentals via vending machines are appearing in grocery and convenience stores – even at many McDonald’s.
Need a ladder? Get one from a vending machine. Want a bicycle? No problem. Just insert money or credit card and pedal away.
In Madrid, you can vend books, flowers and olive oil. The airport in Minneapolis/St. Paul has an iPod vending machine, and you can get shoes from a vending machine on Carnaby Street in London.
Japan comes across with the most bizarre items in vending machines, including live lobsters and bait, eggs, batteries, soccer balls and ties, among many others.
Other items we’ve seen in vending machines range from high-end jewelry and electronics, to stuffed animals and socks.
The concept is called “intelligent dispensing,” and is being heavily promoted by companies like iQ Technology. This is a cloud-based management software system that gives managers control over multiple machines and locations. The result is greater operational flexibility, security, market edge and real-time inventory control. Because intelligent dispensing requires only electricity to operate, the machines can be located anywhere and be operational 24/7. Customers can purchase items with cash, credit cards and smart phones.
Wittern is the parent company of Intelligent Dispensing Solutions and has been building vending machines for over 80 years. The company offers a full line of vending equipment. For more information visit http://intelligentdispensingsolutions.com/ or call 877-771-4446.