Much has been made of the desire by younger consumers for immediate gratification and retailers are increasingly developing solutions that satisfy this impatience among a growing percentage of the buying public.
This phenomenon has fuelled growth in vending machines, with new solutions hitting the market that offer a range of goods that take us well beyond the traditional vending proposition of soft drinks and major brands of confectionery.
Fashion retailer Uniqlo has recently launched vending-inspired machines at a number of locations in the US that dispense products from its LifeWear brand including jackets and undershirts. These can be bought at the touch of a button.
Taking things slightly further is Alibaba with a car vending machine. Shoppers can browse a range of vehicles on their phones and when they make the purchase the car appears at ground level from a vertical display tower. This follows the example of Singapore-based used car seller Autobahn Motors that has a 15-floor showroom, which delivers the purchased car to the buyer in just a couple of minutes.
Also satisfying shoppers’ demands for immediacy is the latest initiative from Amazon – Instant Pickup – that is being offered at a number of locations in the US. It provides two-minute pick-up for Prime Student members. From the Amazon app students can order from a selection of hundreds of products – including snacks and electronics items – and then collect their order from a self-service locker that is effectively a turbo-charged vending machine.
Where this immediate gratification will lead to is uncertain but it is clear some retailers around the world are investigating interesting solutions that seek to give an increasing number of customers what they want, when they want it – right now!
Glynn Davis, editor of Retail Insider
K3 Retail deliver multi-channel solutions that enable retailers to create joined up shopping experiences for their customers whether they choose to buy on-line, direct, in-store or via mobile. It has over 20 years’ experience delivering award winning solutions, to more than 175 internationally recognised retail brands.