Mixing it up

The first thing that comes to mind when you think vending is snacks and drinks, but it’s worth considering what other products can easily be vended to create a welcome cash stream for operators. Here VI looks into the world of non-food vending.

We have touched on numerous examples of non-food vending this year, dispensing items ranging from clothing, cars and even a blood dispensing machine at Belfast’s Mater Hospital. Machines that offer medicines are also not uncommon allowing hospitals to ease the burden on emergency rooms by making pain killers, inhalers or cough syrups easily available. Most recently though there has

been an onslaught of innovation in the field. Some examples of this include London welcoming its first whiskey vending machine at the Napolean Hotel in Hackney, while the SP VendTech 2018 exhibition in Singapore showcased machines that can read palms for cashless payment and products as varied as stationery and toner cartridges. The changing appeal of the photobooth is another emerging trend. Gone are the days of the shopping mall photobooth purely for taking passport photographs. Photobooths, which are digital, portable and printable, are quickly emerging as a must-have event entertainment solution for hire. Just recently, Apple Industries helped photobooth owners boost their revenue by releasing Halloween graphics for all Face Place photobooths. COO Scott Avery revealed that the company is able to drive more business during holiday weekends with earnings spiking by as much as 110% higher than a typical weekend.

GOING CASHLESS One hurdle to choosing alternative items for vending machines is payment options, as it may be less practical to pay for higher-priced items by cash. However, without the restrictions of price, operators can get creative with the products they offer and can sell items that present opportunities for greater profit margins. Managing director of Nayax UK, Lewis Zimbler, said: “Offering consumers a wide variety of cashless payment options lets operators

charge more, speeds up transaction time and opens the vending machine retail experience up to more potential customers, as well as to additional merchandise, beyond the traditional snack and beverage.” In fact, Nayax’s solution is integrated in machines selling a wide

range of products, including packaged flower bouquets, golf balls, make-up and more.

SECURITY One drawback to selling non-food items might be the threat of theft and vandalism that may rise with higher priced items. It’s all very well and good offering highly priced clothing or electronic devices but these can be a magnet for criminals and vandals. By way of example, just last month jewellery valued at $13,000

was stolen from a vending machine in Brooklyn New York by a man using fraudulent credit cards. However, thanks to the ability to offer services including advanced monitoring capabilities and immediate door open alerts, risks can be diminished and this is the type of solution beyond cashless payment technology that Nayax offers. In addition to this, operators can gain a further advantage by

using sales reports and BI capabilities, to better understand consumer behaviour and determine if products are successful and worth continuing to sell. If you’re looking to invest in non-food vending machines there are

many advantages not least of which is that it is convenient for your consumers. There’s also the fact that they are instant cash accumulators, they are in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week and for a company it is ultimately cheaper to sell from a vending machine than to have to pay rent on a building, the associated energy costs, or to have to pay staff. | 29

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