Today's — and tomorrow's — venders are certainly not your father's machine. "Enabling technologies and consumer behavior trends, especially the widespread adoption of smartphones, are converging to create a sweet spot of opportunity to reinvent vending as the most engaging, immediate consumption experience available," says Dan Avenick, director of vending strategy, Coca-Cola Refreshments. "Whether customers are looking to add a Coca-Cola vending machine to their business or are already a vending partner, innovation is the key to growth."
Backed by 70+ years in the business, Coca-Cola continues to provide new ways to quench the business needs of customers, as well as consumer thirst. Some of the latest innovations include:
- Intelligent vending machines: Venders connected to the Internet can report sales, inventory and service issues to Coca-Cola Refreshments in real-time — drastically improving service levels at substantially reduced operating costs.
- Cashless gateway: Many people are accustomed to paying for everything with plastic, even small-dollar purchases. To combat consumer frustration with vending machines that only accept cash — which some folks do not carry, causing lost sales — the Company built its own cashless gateway called COCA-COLA SWIPE™ to lower transaction costs and increase control over cashless payments processing. Tens of thousands of machines are being outfitted with credit/debit card readers to provide the payment flexibility demanded by today's consumers.
- Mobile wallets: People increasingly expect an enhanced and mobile-enabled vending experience. To deliver just that, Coca-Cola Refreshments, through a partnership with Isis Mobile Wallet, enables consumers using a downloadable app loaded on their smartphones to make beverage purchases. Google Wallet can be downloaded on selected Sprint smartphones and works with most cashless devices installed on Coca-Cola Refreshments vending machines.
- Loyalty program convenience: Consumers will find redeeming My Coke Rewards points even faster and more convenient. Thousands of "loyalty equipped" vending machines will allow people to use their My Coke Rewards cards to earn points that can be redeemed for free beverages.
- Coca-Cola Interactive Venders: Acting as a billboard on select Coca-Cola Refreshments vending machines, custom content — such as promotions, videos, games and TV commercials — can be displayed on a unit's 46-inch touch screen. These venders are typically placed in high-traffic sites at colleges, malls, airports and amusement parks, creating an immediate connection with consumers and serving as an important digital marketing tool.
"Coca-Cola is shifting from traditional vending machines capable of only completing cash transactions to new technology equipped venders designed to serve as 'unattended retail' outlets that can produce an exciting consumer experience," says Avenick. New and updated machines accept several forms of payment and deliver customized messages and offers. In addition, real-time data transmission and management enable the Company to keep units stocked and fully operational.
To learn more about how the Company can fulfill your vending needs, visit Coca-Cola Vending Solutions or contact your Coca-Cola representative.