Once upon a time, a vending machine was a clunky box of gears and coils, dropping items from a couple of feet to clash at the bottom of a clumsy shutter door. Oftentimes, the machine would eat the customer’s money as items got stuck inside.
Now known as automated retail vending machines, the old concept has been given a modern upgrade. They use touch screen interfaces, can accept debit, credit, gift cards, and HID cards, and are equipped with laser sensor technology and internal cameras, so customers won’t need to slam their fists against the machine to jostle trapped items free.
Automated retail vending machine manufacturers, such as the Canadian-based Signifi, can custom build machines with large digital screens to promote brands or be used as advertising space. Also, rows and lanes can be sized according to individual items, allowing brands to customize their showcase.
Nutrimeals, a Calgary-based business that uses automated vending machines to sell healthy meals, was uniquely positioned to thrive during the pandemic by optimizing its contactless capabilities. Using an app, customers can browse selections and purchase items then pick them up by scanning a barcode, so the only thing they touch is the product itself.
And it’s not just food. Recently, a speciality store called Dori opened in Toronto’s Eaton Centre, selling beauty items, accessories, Funko dolls, and more—all from automated retail vending machines. The store is completely unattended.
The opportunities for businesses are very exciting. Automated retail vending machines reduce the need for infrastructure and staff, can be easily scalable, and can be applied to many different industries. It is no surprise then that automated retail vending machines are a big part of the global push towards the automation of retail, a market expected to be worth 19 billion USD by 2023.
Before committing, potential retailers will have to consider a few different tactics and strategies. Depending on the technology and capabilities, automated retail vending machines can range between $15,000 to $50,000 or more, so retailers might want to consider potential leasing and financing options. Other considerations include sourcing the right retail partner and having a plan for keeping machines stocked.
We can help you set up vending machines and establish micro-markets. We also re-stock hand sanitizer machines, provide PPE fulfillment support, and more. Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca to learn more.« Back to Blog