By Jeff Thibodeau, VP Operations
As consumers become more comfortable with shopping online and doing most things virtually, custom smart digital vending machines are a gaining traction and are a great way to capitalize on the new age of the consumer. No longer are individuals afraid to purchase products in unconventional ways, from the internet to the vending machine…which has come a long way from what people have come to be familiar with when they hear the term “vending machine.” The machines are no longer analog, but fully digital smart vending machines for a new era. Below are some key benefits.
The digital vending machines have many key differences from the original generation of vending machines. The first key difference is the touchscreen. Each of Innovative Vending Solutions’ vending machines is equipped with a touchscreen of various sizes, from 10” on up to 55”. The touchscreens allow you to get creative and pretty much do anything, from selling product to giving it away for free. With the point-of-sale software application, the consumer can view different product assortments, images, descriptions, and more on the screen, with the ability to immediately purchase those items. Other options include discount codes, free product redemptions, or some type of consumer software call-to-action, all on the screen of the machine itself. This brings up the next benefit of the smart custom vending machines: payment evolution.
The evolution of payments and ways to engage with custom smart digital vending machines have advanced greatly in the past decade. No longer are you limited to inserting only paper cash and coins into the machine, or worrying about your money being rejected. This has been replaced by credit card acceptance, both tap, swipe and EMV insert, as well as Apple Pay, NFC, and even Crypto acceptance. In addition to credit cards, the machines can also be programmed to accept custom currency, such as custom made swipe cards with specified amounts. As for the merchant accounts for the credit card acceptance, IVS works with some processors we currently use, as well as the ability to custom write to APIs to integrate with processors that your company may already use. We have the flexibility to accommodate your situation, and not vice versa.
While on the topic of the payment and touchscreen aspect of a custom smart digital vending machine, there is also the remote back-end management available on IVS machines. This allows you to, via internet connectivity, remotely track the health of your vending machine, while viewing real time sales transactions, reporting, and the ability to change images, descriptions, and pricing remotely, directly to the vending machine in the field. This is a great feature, which does not require you to physically check on the vending machine in the field, but to have the peace of mind to know what is going on with your machine while you are remote.
When it comes to custom vending machines, almost every client will ask IVS about the limitations of the product that will fit within the machine. That is a great thing about IVS’ machines…we set-up and customize the inside of the vending machines based on your specific product. We do not give you requirements you must stay within or force you to change packaging so that your items will fit within our machines. From large and small to oddly shaped items, we can make them work and customize for you. Sure, some items may need to be packaged a certain way to ensure they will dispense properly, but, for the most part, most items will work as-is. What we always like to say, however, is the larger the items, the less will fit, and vice versa. You can fit a shoebox, but not nearly as many as, say, a keychain, within the machine.
Lastly, a very standard aspect of the custom vending machine, but very important nonetheless, is the custom graphic wrap and exterior customization. Every machine that is either a rental or purchase from IVS will include the custom graphic wrap, which your team can design based on templates that we can send out. When a graphic wrap is not enough for the visual aesthetic your brand is going for, there can be more external fabrication, from a completely custom built vending machine from the ground up, to using our machines to insert into a façade built to spec based on the specific machine. This will give you that “non-vending machine” look, yet still achieve the capability to dispense product and have that consumer engagement.
Overall, the vending machine has come a long way over the past several years. IVS is always trying to come up with new concepts and ways to help you and your company feel at ease when it comes to entering into our world. It can be overwhelming and exhausting looking at all of the options and machines in the market, but when it comes to custom smart digital vending machines, IVS is here to make this process as seamless and easy as possible for you. Pricing is tailored to your needs, so we are happy to assist with a price quote, and feel free to contact us and someone will be in touch with you right away.