Connecting Emerging Technology to Brands & Consumers
Interactive Vending Machines: Consumers are becoming better informed at an earlier phase of their purchase cycles, they no longer need to visit large stores to get their favorite products. Gone will be the days of the “sales associate” because the tech savvy consumer will no longer need help with product information. Vending machines will take the place of stores and sales personnel, offering advice, initiating “digital conversation” and capturing data. I think vending machine stores will allow brands to reach wider audiences. Products won’t be confined to certain aisles within a retail store, this freedom will allow for more guerilla marketing tactics and spontaneous purchases.
Current example: I saw this Proactiv vending machine store in Emeryville, Oakland and thought it was a great idea. People on-the-go who may have forgotten essential toiletries or happen to break out at work have the option to purchase a remedy without the hassle of being questioned by a sales associate. My only concern with vending machines is, what if you want some privacy? Are you willing to be the face of the brand (for that moment)? Otherwise, the ease of the transaction solves a problem and allows the consumer to keep moving along.