Showing posts with label vending. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vending. Show all posts

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Amazon tests physical retail with ‘Kindle Kiosk’ vending machines

                                                                                                                   pic: Geekwire

Geekwire recently reported* that Amazon is experimenting with standalone, automated 'Kindle Kiosk' vending machines in selected airports and shopping malls in the US.

Whilst the machines sell everything from the $379 Kindle Fire HDX to a $20 Kindle PowerFast adapter, in addition to Kindle e-readers and covers.

The experiment signals the company’s desire to expand beyond online sales and third-party retail stores, directly selling its hardware and accessories in physical locations. It’s also notable in the context of past predictions that Amazon might want to buy Coinstar and Redbox parent Outerwall, the automated vending machine company based in Bellevue. That was pure speculation, but such a move would significantly increase Amazon’s physical footprint.

Amazon - with its low margins and love for automation - would prefer a vending machine to a brick & mortar outlet, at this stage, but as far as the UK is concerned, the current issues at Morrisons might make the grocer a useful acquisition to power Amazon's next move towards the consumer....

As far as vending assortment is concerned, whilst it’s not clear how many people will feel comfortable purchasing something as expensive as a $379 tablet from a vending machine, at $69, the standard Kindle e-reader could be an impulse buy for someone preparing for a long flight.

However, the real pay-off for Amazon has to be the subsequent sale of ebooks for new users, and obviously other impulse/distress possibilities from the rest of their portfolio...

* See 21 additional pics here

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Champagne vending: Moët goes multichannel?

The world's first Moët  & Chandon vending machine, which has just been installed in the Christmas Shop on the fourth floor of Selfridges, comes stocked with 350 art deco-inspired Swarovski crystal-adorned mini-bottles, a snip at £17.99 each….

Scope for provision of chilled flutes - and perhaps party-hats - to complete the instore theatricality for impulse-tasters…?

Thursday 19 July 2012

Mash vending: 7-Eleven vending machine dispenses mashed potato and gravy

The Maggi mash-dispenser appears to be going down well in Singapore, where potato lovers in the city-state have been enjoying the spud-based snack at 7-Eleven stores for a while now.
Worth keeping in mind that its not about us, its about the consumer...

Doubters might also reflect on the fact that 7-Eleven, the world's most successful convenience operator doesn't carry any product-passengers....  So perhaps it is worth a try?

Next step, single-strand spaghetti?

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Gesture-based-marketing of Coca Cola?

Forget price sensitivity by replacing cash with hugs…

A Coke vending machine was installed overnight at the National University of Singapore. It looks like a fairly ordinary machine, in the brand’s iconic red and white. But instead of it’s logo, this machine says “Hug Me,” in the logo font

Positioning this stunt at a university is a smart move in Singapore, where public signs of affection have long been discouraged, but are on the rise among the young. Coke is positioning itself as a non-threatening ally to affection demonstrating youth.

Given the fact that appetite for carbonated beverages increases with ambient temperature (a few years ago, the company tested a vending machine in Germany that had a thermometer on top, triggering a rise in price with every degree increase in temperature…), it remains to be seen whether the company have built in a facility requiring increasingly intensive hugs as the temperature rises…

In effect, Coca Cola are ‘pressing all the buttons’, in a world where buttons have been replaced by touch….
However, the real issue for others in the vending channel is the extent to which the game has just been raised in Singapore…

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Will ‘behavioural pricing’ affect your behaviour?

'Behavioural pricing' tailors pricing to individual users - with special offers targeted to certain shoppers, but also taking into account information from social networks such as Facebook or Twitter
Online shops already have an unprecedented amount of information at their fingertips - from whether you've purchased from them before, to what sites you've visited before you arrive at their shop, accessible via browsing history.
If price is simply part of the total shopping experience then it is surely appropriate to match price to shopper need?
In the same way, regional pricing variations in the same retailer’s branches across the country, and even differing prices for the same product in different types of store such as convenience and superstore variants for that retailer, should not be a cause of concern.
Also, reports that Tesco plan to overhaul its stores to reflect location and income of families who shop there, has to be an attempt to improve the shopping eperience 
The real issue with behavioural pricing is potential abuse of the insight, an increasing risk for any retailer attempting to deceive the socially-networked savvy consumer.
Instead of attempting to resist the inevitability of behavioural pricing, suppliers should encourage this move towards more focused shopper-satisfaction by factoring the process into their consumer marketing and varying their trade marketing initiatives according to degree of congruence between consumer-profile of the brand and shopper profile of the retailer.
This will help suppliers to anticipate the evolution of location-based offerings in retailing.
In other words, accept the fact that national conformity and uniform brand positioning is now too blunt an instrument in today’s connected society. This means that patchwork regional brand launches, tailored completely to local tastes will allow a more cost-effective allocation of scarce resources, based upon real need, with pricing simply part of the package.
In fact why not consider the Coca Cola idea whereby a thermometer on the top of a vending machine varies the price of a can with change in temperature….

Thursday 28 October 2010

Live crab vending machine

We have covered obscure vending machines in the past, but this one’s a first: a vending machine that sells live crabs. This model is located in a subway station in Nanjing, China, and keeps the crabs at 5°C at all times. In other words, the crabs inside are alive, “hibernating” in a frozen state.

A sign in front of the machine promises 100% customer satisfaction: if buyers get a dead crab, the maker, based in Nanjing, promises they will get three crabs for free.

Each crab costs between $1.50 and $7.50, depending on the size. The machine’s producer says they currently sell around 100 crabs daily, resulting in about $500 sales.
A whole new meaning for shopper engagement?
Have a careful weekend, from the Namnews Team!


Friday 10 September 2010

German farmer's 24/7 hour milk filling station a hit !

News of a new "Milchtankstelle" near Cologne dispensing the output of 78 cows from a stainless steel vending machine into customers' own empty containers could represent a potential breakthrough in partner-bypass by farmers. Given the freshness and customers' willingness to pay 70 cents per litre direct vs the 20 cents paid by grocers to the farmer, the business model has appeal, besides upping the negotiation ante….

Have a savvy weekend, from the Namnews Team!

Thursday 5 August 2010

Breath-test required for vending machine wine sales

For an enriched shopping experience, why not try buying wine in Pennsylvania?
The state is currently testing a vending machine that holds 1,000 bottles of 55 wines. Following selection of a bottle, customers must insert a driver's licence to show they are over 21, then submit to video-linking for verification of identity by a member of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Next customers must blow into a breathalyser to make sure their breath-alcohol level is not more than 0.02, or just one quarter the legal limit for driving. If it is, the sale will be denied.

Apparently, Family planning authorities have thus far shown little interest in adapting the machine to dispense other weekend requisites…

Have an imaginative weekend, from the Namnews Team!

Monday 31 May 2010

Raising the Vending Game?

Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi, a cash machine dispenses gold (Pic: Mosab Omar/Reuters)

According to the New York Times, vending machines in Tokyo have electronic eyes that evaluate customers’ skin and wrinkles to determine age, for access to age-sensitive categories. In bathrooms at upscale Canadian bars, vending machines with flat irons enable women to defrizz their locks. In Abu Dhabi, the lobby of a luxury hotel has a vending machine that dispenses gold bars and coins at more than $1,000 an ounce.
Changing consumer preferences about shopping and the high cost of operating brick-and-mortar stores are inspiring premium brands to rethink how they sell their wares.

With vending machines costing less than an employee, a company called U*tique will begin selling high-end beauty products in machines that light up when customers approach — a better reception than shoppers see from most retail employees….

Moreover, merchandise in U*tique machines will be arranged and lighted like works of modern art in a series of dainty portals, evoking a neon honeycomb (see above)

For those of us wanting the numbers, a Zoom vending machine in Duty free retail can outsell average airport sales per sq.ft. by 10 to 1…

A pointer or a pain for classic vended categories?

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Tesco's DVD vending deal, a stepping-stone to the long-tail?

A British movie-vending company has agreed a deal with Tesco that will see its rental kiosks placed in three of the retailer's Irish stores this week on a trial basis.
This could morph into a grab for the more lucrative long-tail* of home entertainment demand…
A key driver in grocery is space. Tesco currently generate approx £1,000 per sq. ft. p.a., but will not want to provide the full home entertainment repertoire, because of the negative impact on their profit per sq. ft. objectives.
This will eventually drive Tesco to adopt auto-download of all digital movies,albums and games, and deliver the revenue of an 8,000 sq. ft. specialist shop from a 20 sq. ft. space, or even a kiosk…? Then they will compete on price across whole catalogue, with everyone, everywhere.

* The Long-tail 98% Rule: In a digital world of almost zero packaging cost and instant access to almost all content, consumers look at almost everything. This results in 98% of the 10,000 albums available on digital jukeboxes selling at least one track per quarter, profitably.
(The Long Tail, by Chris Anderson)