Vending machine messaging that promotes a specific product or combination of products may also generate a discount coupon, or “e-coupon,” to further influence purchase decisions. Media experts claim that this form of promotion conditions the customer to pay attention to broadcast content as there may be a promotion or other benefit to be gained. Digital signage can present vending an unparalleled sales opportunity, especially in conjunction with the use of QR codes and dynamic mobile marketing campaigns.
Net impression tracking
An evaluation of the consumer’s ability to recall the content of a digital display is termed net impression tracking. When a message is broadcast, an impression is created. Measuring the consumer’s strength of recall can be used to evaluate this relationship. This is often a difficult metric to compute but can be very meaningful in terms of next step strategies.
Often, practitioners report that short messages (as short as 10 seconds) may have a higher recall rate than a longer promotional piece. Additionally, the longer the messaging at a vending machine, the more likely there will be a service slow down.
Digital signage can have a positive impact on vending as it increases the range of information available to consumers at the point of purchase. Some important performance metrics for digital signage in vending include: 1) revenue lift resulting from product promotion, 2) purchase transaction time, 3) index of customer satisfaction, and 4) increased number of customers using the vending machine.
Digital media represents a powerful tool for location specific promotions as content can be remotely managed in real time and compressed for rapid transmission. Vending operators are able to place digital screens in a bezel or slot mount on the front of a vending machine as well as to a machine side panel or away from the machine on a wall bracket.
Streaming video technology, in combination with Internet connectivity, presents a vending operator with the capability to create a powerful network for video advertising, news alerts, and product promotion. As new content is available, it can be automatically downloaded from a remote location to vending machine supported screens for immediate implementation.
In essence, the placement of digital signage can effectively transform a vending machine into a large-scale video terminal equipped to promote on-site merchandising while providing a source for product ingredient and nutrient disclosure along with incremental revenue from advertising.
Digital supports wayfinding
The use of signage to direct people in an unfamiliar area is termed wayfinding. The advent of digital signage adds a new dimension to wayfinding by enabling visual presentation of maps and schedules.
New, data-driven, wayfinding systems operate dynamically to determine the best route based on current conditions. This concept of “smart” wayfinding is expected to change how wayfinding is deployed and managed in all industries, including the vending industry.
For example, a smart phone application may identify the nearest vending machine, and category of products sold, to an inquiring consumer. Or a high definition audio-video presentation can be used to capture consumer attention and thereby drive traffic to the machine. Once in proximity to the machine, the display can promote products sold through the machine (targeting specific items for promotion based on consumer and time of day).
Nutrient and ingredient data can be presented for any item or the buyer may be able to use an on-board search engine or component filter to identify qualifying (e.g., low calorie) items for purchase. In addition to item promotion and sales, incremental revenue may result from advertisements and event promotions appearing on the machine supported digital screens.
Product recognition concerns
The need to display product nutrient and ingredient data has started taking on significant importance in the vending industry. Government regulations designed to assist consumers in making more informed product choices will soon be mandated, requiring vending operators to provide accurate item information. How can a vending operator have confidence the data provided will match the identification of each product in each facing?
These concerns can be addressed and resolved through product recognition technology to specifically determine the content of each product in each spiral in real time.