Intelligent Vending. Technology and Analytics

By Dawn Dickson
Published on: May 26, 2017

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This is a series on Intelligent Vending:

To Read Part 1: A Peak Into The Future – Go here.

Part 2 will cover the new technology and analytics, and Part 3 will project how intelligent vending is directly impacting the CT channel.

“The ability to access information generated by connected devices enables a fundamental shift in how companies operate and generate revenues. Wireless machines will provide brands with management dashboards and visualization tools, displaying real-time sales and maintenance information across the entire network and from individual points of sale. Smart vending machines are a great example of the impact of IoT on new revenue streams and business models.”

Foresight White Paper: Internet of Things Moving Toward a Connected World, Efrat Kasznik, IP Strategy at Stanford GSB & Advisor Stanford Venture Lab, April 2016

Vending Industry Snapshot

Unchanged literally since the dawn of the industrial age, vending is just catching up to the world of technology and connectivity, and the business intelligence and new revenues that it will drive. Many other benefits like the potential of consumer personalization at the POS, is expected to drive growth of the vending market from $7.3B in 2016 to ~$18B by 2020.

Antiquated in terms of security, operational inefficiencies and payment processing, the industry-wide technology applications is foreseen to be strong for both existing operators as well as in attracting new ones into the market. This includes brands who will use intelligent vending to reach new millennial and younger audiences – all of whom are digital natives. While trending down in terms of global market revenue, vending growth is projected to be robust by virtually every research entity and industry prognosticator.

Brands like Coca-Cola and other beverage and snack companies are known purveyors of traditional vending. But new players like Best Buy, Honest Company, and elite skin-care company Kiehl’s are entering the market with the advent of intelligent vending potential. Many others are looking at leveraging this new breed of smart POS markets.

In my next article, I’ll try to project how the CT and CI channels might use new vending technologies and analytics to participate in this rapid growth curve. But for now, let me just share some of the analytics-related technologies we’re developing and you can get a snapshot of how your own brand might lend itself to intelligent vending.

Technology Feature Sets

Using internet-enabled data collection software, my company’s platform turns ordinary vending machines into state-of-the-art data sponges, recording a wealth of crucial information about the consumer. Here is how we are managing and marrying technology and analytics to provide vendors with unique opportunities in the intelligent vending industry:

  1. Cloud-based and fully customizable software analytics dashboards to manage marketing hub information
  2. IoT interconnectivity for data collection between networked devices
  3. Real-time customer data tracking, allowing personalization and a new level of customer responsiveness with machine-learning algorithms
  4. Real-time B2C dashboard management, including creating personalized media experiences and brand exposures
  5. Social sharing capabilities post-purchase for enhanced authentic brand-customer experience and peer-to-peer interactions and brand extensions
  6. Real-time remote inventory and maintenance monitoring to take the guesswork out of remote retail operation; optimizing machine visits and supply-chain decisions
  7. Cashless payments for seamless purchase and processing from credit card or mobile wallet, plus digital receipts
  8. Analyzing traffic patterns for device location optimization from ‘heat maps’ and calculating conversion rates

And this is just a small list of innovations the intelligent vending industry is working on.  Imagine yourself ten years ago and wondering if you would be agile enough to participate in the on-line buying growth curve. Well, that same curve is what is in store for intelligent vending. Will you be agile enough to participate?

Dawn Dickson

Dawn Dickson

Dawn is a serial entrepreneur and principal behind Solutions Vending International, with over 15 years of experience in marketing and business development. She launched three successful cash flow positive companies since 2002. Her venture Flat Out of Heels identified a need to create a product to provide women with convenient relief after hours of wearing high heels.

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