The Internet of Things or IoT has impacted several industries till now including vending machines. Ability to access information that is generated through connected devices remotely as well as real time enables a fundamental shift in the very way companies operate and generate revenue. The smart vending machines are one of the greatest examples of IoT on the business models and revenue streams.

Around hundred years after the deployment of vending machines, the traditional machines have evolved with technology for inclusion of more digital capabilities. Supplying machines with network connectivity allows identification of each machine, track the stock level, conduct test marketing and most importantly track the trends as well as drinking preferences and accordingly adjust the selections. Here are some ways by which the connected machines can increase economic returns with improved profitability, increased revenue and a better experience.

Ways By which IoT Transformed Vending Machines

Digital Content Delivery:

The intelligent software solutions allow delivery of digital content with greater impact. The vending machines act as a billboard here providing customized content like promotions, games and TV commercials on the screen of the unit. By placing these machines in the high traffic sites like theaters and stadiums, the vendors can connect with the customers. This helps brands to reach the audience on time allowing to manage messages in real time as well as launch customized content. This facilitates generation of new content source and advertising revenues that can be distributed among the operators, venues and an entity.

Smart Payment:

The users can make payments using Near Field Communication or NFC payment, or debit or credit cards. Coke has developed its cashless gateway to lower the transaction charges and enhance control over payment. Consumers can use the mobile wallet payment systems like Google Wallet that is a downloadable mobile application.

Social Commerce:

The smart vending solutions provide the brands an opportunity to engage with the customers in a personalized manner. The customers can use smart phones for identifying themselves, connect to social networks, build profiles, play social games and receive the tailored and promotional ads. Social interaction through gifting allows the users to send gifts to friends. The vending machines may also utilize gamification for getting people to check in and interact thereby enhancing user engagement.

Inventory Management:

The machines built in intelligence and sensor data make proper inventory decisions. The connected platforms allow the distributors and manufacturers to track shipment to vending machines and distribution centers and collect consumer data from the machines for monitoring accurate consumable resupply usage, track the sales trend on the basis of geography and the time of the year as well as troubleshoot the system issues. The system also makes smart inventory decisions on the basis of data collected from vending machines and of others owned by the company and of outside resources.

Companies are slowly realizing the constantly evolving relation between services and products. A study sees the IoT creating multiple opportunities for higher revenue streams, enhanced market performance as well as heightened customer loyalty. A significant aspect of this is diversification of revenue streams through the creation of new services and revenue sources on top of the traditional products. IoT will make the implementation of end to end supply chain management for enterprises easier.

Simon Hopes is a prolific writer. He has several write ups on technology and business. With adequate knowledge on the vending machines in Melbourne, he has framed several write ups on it.