Why should you be interested in contactless vending?
Our planet is collectively going digital at a record pace. It was inevitable that the vending machine end-user consumer would want a genuinely contactless vending experience as well. While contactless vending did exist before this ‘new normal’, it has been gaining ground nonetheless. The COVID-19 global pandemic has sped up the impact of these trends on the vending industry.
These trends mean that anyone related to the vending industry should be aware of contactless vending as a business and practice.
What are the aspects of a contactless vending experience?
A contactless vending experience means no contact with any physical space, surface, or object that is not part of the transaction. In today’s reality, it is specifically about minimizing or eliminating contact with surfaces or areas shared with the public. The industry is heading towards configurable web-enabled solutions, along with the appropriate hardware.
Whereas automated vending has existed for decades, completely contactless vending is a moving target, thanks to changing customer behavior, requirements, and technological challenges around accessibility, mobility, and data security. At U-Select-It, we are up to this challenge with our legacy, approach, and products across our vending portfolio.
What is the importance of a contactless vending experience?
In addition to health and hygiene benefits, the contactless experience is fundamentally about better efficiencies in terms of safety (COVID-ready), accessibility, transactions, logistics, customer experience, etc.
- Contactless vending helps in being more COVID-Ready. Our patent-pending UVend Technology makes vending machines safer by quickly killing or inactivating some of the most common viruses and bacteria, including influenza and the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2).
- No contact vending also translates to better accessibility for all. All of our solutions are user-friendly by being ADA compliant. Our user interfaces also provide audio support for sight-impaired operators.
- Contactless transactions minimize the need for cash logistics and reduce the time and effort taken to access the sales dollars directly. We partner with multiple payment system providers to enable this feature for end-users, including Greenlite and PayRange.
- While contactless vending predominantly benefits the end-user, machine operators could also optimize their refill trips to the vendor with our web-enabled control systems and solutions. Our solution offers full sales and accounting features that help set prices, program time of day discounts, program coupon or token values, and more.
- Our approach that powers the contactless vending features in our machines can also integrate planogram planning that helps improve the end-user experience.
What is required to provide a contactless experience to end-consumers?
A contactless vending experience requires data, event or trigger-based planning, supporting technology, experience across automation and vending solutions.
Data: This phase is about understanding the current vending solution and the merchandise. A combination of data sources like inventory management software, maintenance, service records, replenishment requests, accounting tools, purchase histories, etc., will help here.
For example, our inDEX product planogram and information management utility is a data access capability that helps manage and optimize the content on our intelligent vending machines.
Event/Trigger-Based Solution Planning: This is the usual sequence of steps the consumer takes to complete the transaction. This phase helps identify the steps to be automated and enhanced by the vending solution.
Supporting Technology: The technology and applications that help automate the contactless experience for vending machine owners and end-users. In a merchandised item’s selection, payment, vending, and refund (if applicable).
USI’s offerings could support 3rd party mobile and web apps with our development tools for ordering or item selection.
Experience Across Automation & Vending Technology: One would require multiple disciplines working in tandem to create an easy, simple, and effective end-user experience.
For example, a cursory glance at our product guide gives a snapshot of what we cover. Right from our intuitive user interfaces, like the iCart Touchscreen, with an audio interface, to our UVend Technology, which keeps high touch surfaces germ-free.
Why collaborate with USI to create your unique contactless vending experience?
- The world is going contactless, and the vending industry is at the forefront of this transformation. The benefits offered by adopting contactless vending solutions are long-term.
- USI delivers hardware, software, and web-enabled applications. We have the capability, resources, and proven experience to develop genuinely contactless vending experiences through our machines.
- Our customers range from vending equipment distributors, large vending operators, and national food-service and facility management companies.
Contact us now to discuss your contactless vending equipment or solution requirements to find out more about specific technologies, applications, or features you would like added to your machine. Our solutions are configurable, and we have it all under one roof. Find out more by calling 1-800-247-8709.