Could vending be the compromise online traditional and modern shoppers have been searching for?
Have you heard the phrase, “There’s an app for that”? Well now you might be hearing people say, “There’s a vending machine for that.”
Some shopping center owners are starting to think automated retail may help in the fight to save the brick and mortar store.
Vending machines aren’t just for sodas and snacks anymore. Depending on your location, you can find almost anything in a vending machine. You can purchase things like books, umbrellas and even IPods. Over the past decade this has been an increasing trend and now malls are considering it as a way to maintain foot traffic.
Traditional shoppers like the instant gratification of taking their purchase home the same day. Modern shoppers like the hassle free, quicker and less engaged feeling of not having to deal with sales people or search through aisles.
The logic? Having automated retail machines in their shopping centers will not only get more people in the mall to use them but being there will increase the number of people who actually go into the stores… growing store business and therefore helping the center to maintain their tenants and be successful.
Aside from the benefits for the mall opting for vending machines, they benefit the customers who choose to shop from them and increase the bottom-line of out of them and the company’s using them.
Companies can present their products in a brick and mortar fashion without overhead costs they would have with an actual retail store like staffing. Because the company has less overheard they may be less likely to raise prices as gas prices and cost of living increases. The customer not only gets the product the same day, they also save on shipping costs! The one downside would be customer service and the lack of easy returns.
Do you feel confident buying larger purchases, like a new iPod or cologne, from a vending machine? Do you think this trend really is a convenient compromise or just an ill-fated attempt to keep 2 very different types of shoppers happy?