Vending machines go beyond candy
“I wish there had been one of these when I was at the Mall of America,” said Rendon of Maplewood, Minn., recalling a recent excursion with daughters uggs uk Makayla, 5, and Daisy, 13 months. On that day, Rendon had forgotten Daisy’s bottle.
The vending machine, called Diaper Bag Basics, is the brainchild of two Twin Cities mothers and debuted at Maplewood Mall about three weeks ago. It’s one of the many twists in the evolution of vending machines as companies embrace the potential of “v commerce.”
“There’s a significant trend, especially for an already established retailer,” said George Van Horn, senior industry analyst with market research firm IBISWorld. “They have a brick and mortar, they have mail order, they have a website, so the vending machine itself is just one more extension of the brand.”
Using vending machines, retailers can track sales and inventory online, avoiding excessive trips to restock inven uggs uk tory and helping determine hot sellers. More machines have touch screen shopping, and some companies are testing wireless technology uggs uk to allow cons uggs uk umers to make a vending machine purchase with a mobile phone.
Already, vending machines are used to sell everything from $2 shaving kits to $400 electronics, building familiarity with consumers. It’s not difficult to imagine more shoppers embracing the utility of making a purchase through a vending machine, especially when so many are comfortable shopping online with a computer.
Vending machines have downsides. They’re labor intensive, often with low profit margins that can’t be passed on, especially to the post recession, value conscious consumer.