Eight trends in the vending sector
Some time ago I gave you a quick overview of the latest report from EVA, the European Vending and Office Coffee Service Association (https://20100retail.be/en/articles/646/what-are-the-trends-in-vending-in-europe). Today based on this report and experience, her are eight trends in the vending sector commented by Torben Dankers, Sales Lead Vending at CCV.
Like other analysts, Torben explains that the pandemic had a huge impact on the vending industry, but also acted as a catalyst for certain trends: "Now, almost three years later, we see that some of the trends of the time have gained momentum. Several important new developments have emerged that we believe will have a powerful impact on the vending machines of tomorrow."
- The transition to cashless payments continues: By 2019, the number of cash payment transactions had increased by 7.9% in one year across the EU. The increased importance of hygiene, following Covid-19, reinforces this trend. According to the European Central Bank, although the total number of contactless transactions slowed in 2020, the value of these payments increased by 8.7%. Clearly, customers spend more when they have a choice of multiple payment options.
- Mobile payments have become one of the most popular payment methods: In 2020, for the whole of Western Europe, the number of users making mobile payments jumped by 18.7%. With the breakthrough of mobile banking and the widespread use of NFC (Near Field Communication) technologies, customers now take it for granted that they can pay with their smartphones in all circumstances, including at ATMs. "Customers will be able to order and pay for products via their smartphone and then collect them from a machine. This will be the next big step in customer experience”.
- The locations, users and products of vending machines are changing: The old-fashioned machine in the train station or office is history. Consumer habits and teleworking are changing and the vending industry is keeping up with the pace. The focus is more on the premiumisation of the offer. Torben Dankers explains: "The offer is more and more diversified and of better quality. Today's retailers offer many healthy snacks, as well as vegan and gluten-free foods. But the offer goes much further, with umbrellas and cosmetics, and even eggs, milk and meat - fresh products that were never before considered realistic for vending machines”.
- Personalized selling: Machines are becoming intelligent and can recognize you, which opens the door to personalization. Although the growth of personalized selling is slower in Europe than elsewhere in the world, the sector is evolving. Take for example touch screen technology, which can provide personalized marketing based on the weather, time of year or day. New features allow operators to offer their customers rewards, loyalty programs and vouchers.
- Micro-markets: This trend has been mentioned many times on these pages and continues to evolve. Imagine a fully self-service retail space, where customers enter, manually select their products and then pay for them without contact. Micro-markets are the fastest growing segment of the vending industry, growing by 39% between 2018 and 2020. They meet the growing customer demand for hygiene, contactless payment, convenience and choice.
- Retrofitting for modern and sustainable vending machines: In practical terms, this means retrofitting old machines with new equipment to extend their lifespan. By equipping these machines with the latest technology - such as touch screens, the latest payment options and Internet of Things (IoT) functionality - operators can reduce waste, provide added value to their customers and reduce maintenance costs.
- Technology for customers and operators: Vending machines are no longer the square, bulky, boring boxes we all knew. The interaction with the customer now goes far beyond the payment process. "Providing them with new features can greatly improve the user experience. Facilitating product selection, solving problems and providing possible customer services are all possible today" says Torben Dankers. And the benefits also extend to the operators. Intelligent vending machines with telemetry offer advantages such as easier maintenance, better stock management and cost efficiency.
- Android is coming and will revolutionize the payment system: Radical changes are coming with payment terminals running on Android. App-powered payment devices offer almost unlimited functionality. New possibilities for maintenance, payment, advertising and much more - all on one device - are at your fingertips.
So, the pandemic has had its effects, teleworking is a complete game changer, but clearly the vending industry continues to evolve and the opportunities are there for both operators and consumers.
VendingDistribution AutomatiqueCcvTorben DankersTrendsMarket DataEva European Vending And Coffee Service Association