Today’s consumers are the most technology savvy ever. They use their mobile phones for keeping in touch with each another, for shopping, and for snacking in the break room. The easier it is for them to use their smart phones, the happier and more productive they are.
Coca-Cola, a pioneer in making the vending machine experience more interactive using mobile technology, will introduce IOS and Android apps in their respective “native services” this spring. The apps will allow consumers to earn rewards points for free drinks and perks from vending machines.
The new apps mark the beverage leader’s most recent foray in interactive vending. The company views its vending machines as retail stores that aggregate data on a variety of consumer actions.
Four years ago, Coca Cola enabled its machines to connect to the Internet to report sales, inventory, and service issues in real-time – improving service at substantially reduced operating costs.
Derek Myers, group director, strategy and commercialization, Coca-Cola North America, told attendees at the recent OMMA SXSW at South By Southwest Interactive in Austin, Texas that the loyalty program will now allow the brand to identify the consumer, the type of drink, and the location in which the purchase is made.
Overall, Coca-Cola’s machines collect more than 100 points of data every second, Myers says. The “smart connected fleet” of machines calls home once daily with inventory numbers and payments.
The rewards program is not new, but now the integration will allow consumers to make cashless purchases using native services already available on the phone and earn points through its vending machines. With a downloadable app, consumers can tap smart phones against vending machines’ readers to pay and get the beverages they want – in one swipe.
Personalizing interaction between consumers and the vending machine has become important. Coca-Cola uses what Myers calls “occasion-based marketing.” The screen on the machine can deliver personal messages to the consumer while standing in front of the machine.
Privacy and security has also become important, as well as the decision to incorporate social and other types of data or customer data.
The machines accept several forms of payment, deliver customized messages and offers, and remain in-stock and fully-operational due to real-time data transmission and management.
For more information about snack and beverage options for your San Francisco Bay Are breakroom, contact your vending partner, PVS Refreshments at 844.527.4800 to discuss your customized break room solution.