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Vending Machine Trends 2016

Interested in what vending technology advancements to expect out of 2016? Check out this guide on what’s hot right now in the vending game!

Mobile Payments

Vending operators should watch this space as with the recent introduction of Apple Pay.  Operators are pushing the boundaries of payment flexibility as they work toward integrating mobile payments with NFC-enabled (wireless, chip-to-chip link) swipe terminals.  It may take time before there is a huge increase in usage, as with any new technology it takes some time for customers to fully understand the availability of this innovation and how to use it.  The best locations with the most likely rate of success would be those with a younger demographic like university and college campuses as an example.

Micro markets

These are an expansion on traditional vending machines and offer an increased variety of healthy options like healthy snacks, fresh fruits, salads, sandwiches , cold pressed juices and much more.  Micro markets bring together the convenience of vending with an improved customer experience.  it combines elements of the vending convenience with payment options and promotional opportunities associated with a retail environment.  Consequently, this will be one area where vending operators will be able to compete with convenience stores and drive prices down.

Wi-Fi enabled vending machines

The thought of free Internet browsing while enjoying a cold soft drink would appeal to many smartphone/social network/online chat/electronic media enthusiasts. Coca-Cola and British Telecom have combined their efforts to test Wi-Fi enabled vending machines in South Africa.  Through exposure to their products, they hope to provide online access to some of the poorest communities in the world.  The reasoning behind this concept is based on the belief that Web access can make in huge difference in education, healthcare and innovation within a community, improving the opportunities presented to local people.  Free access will empower students and school children to increase their knowledge while entrepeneurs/small business owners in the community will be given a free space to conduct some of their activities online.

From the vending machine trends highlighted above, it’s clear to see that innovation will take the industry to greater heights in the immediate and foreseeable future.  Convenience through innovation is being pushed to new levels as the focus is no longer just on the easy access purchase, but on the positive impact it makes through the experience of the consumer.