An Atlanta-based car dealer, Carvana,has turned a few heads with the opening of their latest retail option. Consumers looking to purchase a certified used vehicle now have the option of browsing, selecting and paying for their new vehicle at a vending machine.
The new “machine” is located in Atlanta and achieves the main goal of Carvana by cutting out the dealership and salespeople. Carvana says that their people-less car selling translates to at least $1,500 of savings on each vehicle. The location features three separate bays, or garages, that hold a wide selection of cars that users can get access to in two different ways. First, if you use Carvana’s main service and purchase your vehicle online, you can pick it up at this new vending machine. Secondly, there are fully digital screens at each bay that will display the inventory currently available at that location. Purchasing a vehicle from this machine means you can drive away in your new vehicle without ever having to speak to a salesperson.
National Vending knows that the rise in self-service shopping is growing in popularity and vending services play an important role in creating physical retail and interaction locations for online businesses.
Boston’s bike sharing service is adding a new service for their patrons in hopes of increasing rider safety and convenience. Most bike share riders do not carry a helmet around with them, especially if it is a spur of the moment decision to rent a bike. The HelmetHub service will provide riders a way to rent bike helmets and return them at the end of their ride at vending machines attached to the bike rental stations.
This new service is a good example of listening to customers’ needs and wants and finding ways to improve your service and product offering to meet those needs and wants. National Vending makes it easy for vending patrons to communicate their ideas and needs through improved technology, including QR codes. Adding QR codes to our vending services is one of the easy to use methods we can increase patron interaction and make the vending services in your facility stand out and succeed.
Today marked the end of an era for a company that many of us welcomed into our homes over the past 20 years. It was officially announced that the video rental giant, Blockbuster, will be closing the doors of its 300 remaining retail locations and ending its video by mail service. A main reason for the end to the Blockbuster story is an ever-evolving industry that did not have a need for their services any more.
As a vending management company, National Vending works with facility managers and other professionals to ensure that your vending services keep on pace with the needs and demands of your vending patrons. Tailoring services, product offerings and utilizing new technology are all taken care of by National Vending, making the advantages of vending services at your location easy!
National Vending knows the importance of energy-efficient equipment for the environment and for business owners. Energy Star qualified beverage machines use 1,700 kWh per year less than regular machines which means that less energy is being used and more money is being saved in utility bills.
A new technology that is being developed in Europe as a collaborative effort to improve the sustainability of refrigerator units has a lot of people excited, even in the vending management industry! This new device is called the V-Tex and is able to chill drinks in 45 seconds. This solution is aimed at avoiding the need for refrigerating units that are constantly on and consuming energy in order to have drinks chilled for consumption at any given time. Now, beverages can be stored at room temperature and energy is only used briefly to chill them down before serving. This could lead to technology that changes how beverage vending machines store and distribute beverages and could make them even more energy efficient!
Mobile payments are becoming increasingly popular for retail stores, online shopping and even vending services! A popular application for mobile payments is Google’s Mobile Wallet, which enables users to use their phone in place of credit or debit cards when paying for products or services by using NFC chips, or Near Field Communication chips. These chips allow mobile devices to communicate with each other when they touch or are within a few inches of each other. For mobile payments, smartphones are typically touched to a pad that is also NFC-enabled and the devices communicate the payment information to each other.
Google recently released a new version of its Mobile Wallet app for iPhones; an app that was previously only available on Android devices. Apple iPhones do not have NFC chips so the app will not work exactly like the Android version, but through Gmail attachments and stored credit and debit card data, users can simplify online shopping and send money. iPhone users can now access loyalty programs and redeem offers by location using the application though.
National Vending sees a lot of potential in mobile payments and the use of mobile loyalty programs for vending solutions and already features QR code technology on many of its products to promote consumer interaction and feedback.
Today is the day! National Vending is spending its first day at this year’s Building Operating Management’s NFMT Vegas trade show! This event is packed full of educational sessions, training, a free exhibit hall, networking events and more and is a great opportunity for facilities management professionals to learn about new ideas and meet others in the industry.
National Vending is currently exhibiting new vending machine products and technology that will help improve customer service and interaction for vending machines as well as energy-saving machines. Vending services that include QR code technology are an easy and effective way for customers to give their feedback to a vending machine management company and take some of the stress off of facility managers by providing another way to gain insight on how machines are performing and what types of products should be stocked.
National Vending will also be highlighting Energy Star and ADA compliant equipment. Energy Star equipment utilizes technology that helps machines be more energy efficient, saving money on utility costs. These machines are also available to National Vending customers at no cost.
To find out more about the trade show, here is a link to their website and a quick video highlighting the events!
Like any retailer, vending services need to be tailored or personalized to meet the needs and wants of their markets. Since vending machine markets are strongly determined by their location, their product offering has to take into account what is around the machine. Factors that can determine what products your vending services offer can include, proximity to other food or beverage sources and what they have to offer, purpose of the room or space the machine is located within, and the preferences of the patrons that will be using your services.
There are many other factors that can determine which products will be successful and National Vending will work with you to figure these out and personalize product selections to each location. National Vending will even help you determine the preferences of your market through technologies such as QR codes that patrons can use to provide direct feedback and provide product selection preferences.
No matter what your vending services are, National Vending offers a single point of contact for all of them so that you can direct all of your questions, comments and suggestions to improve your vending operations to one place!
National Vending is always looking for ways to improve the vending services we provide, and we are excited to share these ideas and technologies at Building Operating Management’s NFMT Vegas trade show September 17-18th.
One of these exciting new technologies is the use of QR codes to improve usage of vending services for operators, managers and facility or building managers. QR, or quick response, codes are matrix barcodes that can be scanned by smart phone. When a patron’s smart phone interprets the code, it will perform the action specified by the QR code. These actions can be anything from loading a website or opening a text message, to loading a phone number to call or downloading an app.
For facility managers, this means that customers at your vending services will have an easier time getting in touch directly with the vending management or operators. There are few things more frustrating to vending machine patrons than a malfunctioning or out of stock vending machine. With a simple QR code, customers are able to submit service issues and provide comments on the machines and services. Customers are also able to request products that they would like in the machines so that your vending services can be tailored to your specific market.