What Is a Vending Machine?
It may well sound like a silly question, but the truth is that there are so very many kinds of vending machines and vending solutions on the market. If you really think about it, there are heaps of machines that we may not have previously seen as vending machines. So, what is a vending machine you ask? In its simplest form, a vending machine is a self-service machine which dispenses merchandise after the insertion of money or a tap of a card on the machine.
Dispensing an Item
The most common vending machines dispense fast-moving consumer goods. Cold drinks and snacks; all with the advantage of long shelf lives can provide consumers with instant gratification through vending machines. Undoubtedly the biggest perk of vending machines is their ability to provide goods at all hours without needing a human to operate them. Late at night and early in the morning, vending machines are the heroes of the snack world.
Dispensing a service
Stepping into the realm of services, you may struggle to remember what it is a machine can do for you. The most classic example – is a parking metre. In exchange for a coin or the tap of a debit or credit card, you are given time. While the original parking metres may no longer exist, its newer upgraded version exists in and around paid parking in almost every mall. They sell not only time but also shade and security for your car.
Another service provided by a vending machine of sorts, which has also become a fossil of the modern world, is a phone booth. You may not remember when last you saw one, but they used to be commonplace.
Dispensing songs – the jukebox. Recently revived and spotted in the odd pub or pool hall, the modern jukebox has thousands of songs, often anything you can think of. In addition to the touch screen and easy operation, these machines provide an atmosphere.
Different, but still the same.
You may have never considered it to be a vending machine, but if you think about it an ATM is likely to be among the most widely utilised vending machines in modern society. Dispensing cash to users, an ATM is far more complicated than the average snack dispenser, but it still automatically dispenses goods (in this, case money) to users.
Japan is widely seen as a vending machine society. Almost everything you can think of is available from a vending machine. It makes sense, in densely populated cities where people are always pressed for time, why wouldn’t you want to buy fresh lettuce without even having to greet a cashier?
As time passes vending machines make more and more sense. What the supplier saves in running costs can be passed on to the consumer. Vending machines don’t require full-time staff, but they can operate full-time. They require little space, and they can be placed almost anywhere. If you would like to find out more about owning a vending machine or renting one, feel free to contact us for more information!