When people think of traditional vending machines they usually think of the snack and beverage vending machines. But how is a smart vending machine different from a traditional one?
The answer lies in the intelligent systems used to bring the machines online. With the use of modern technologies, vending machines have quickly evolved into new machines that find new ways to interact and engage with shoppers. Smart Vending machines use digital technologies to create automated retail solutions to deliver products without human staffing.
How does it work?
Smart Vending machines can communicate in real-time with a centralised control platform, backed by a cloud management system, that receives real-time data flows. The cloud allows for live inventory monitoring and sales data which helps the owner to reduce the loss of sales due to lack of proper inventory management.
An IoT-enabled smart vending machine with the integration of a variety of sensors adds value to the customers. For example, certain sensors can be used to control the temperature levels within the machines. Earlier only products with high shelf-life were stored in vending machines, but now a wide range of products can be dispensed using these machines. Temperature regulation has allowed the storage of fresh products with low shelf-life.
The Future of Retail
Smart Vending machines are the future of retail as they allow retailers to conduct their business anywhere and reach their customers in new locations. These machines use High-Definition (HD) touch screen displays that attract customers with interactive videos, animations etc.
Smart Vending machines can deliver personalised customer experiences using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and analytics to device data. They can use historical sales data that provide insights into consumption patterns to perform targeted marketing. All these ensure a unique user experience that improves customer satisfaction and helps businesses grow more customers.
WeMakeIoT developed a Smart Vending Machine solution for sanitary products using STM32 and GSM module. The user will scan a QR code on the smart vending machine from a mobile app and select the product which will be dispensed. Firmware update over-the-air, power optimised design for battery operated device, cloud based backend were some of the key characteristics of this vending machine.
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