Technology is at the heart of unattended retail and self-service options. It’s what allows consumers to purchase items without the need of interacting, which is nothing new to micromarket and vending operators. What is new is the expansion of this field?
Vending machine technology has rapidly evolved over the past couple years, with both touchless vending options, and new purchasing equipment. The Washington Post quoted, NAMA’s CEO Carla Balakgie saying,
“It’s touchless, it’s considered safe, and it’s prepackaged so products haven’t been fondled and breathed on,” she said. “And technology has made it even safer: Some machines have a hover feature so you don’t have to touch the buttons and you can use an app on your phone or use mobile ordering.”
Offering touchless technology is the big game changer for 2021. Even this article from Forbes touts the boom in touchless technology, though the author, Laura Heller, argues that setting up such technology “is quite complicated and costly.”
In our industry, we know this truth—that touchless technology and contactless pay are real, attainable, and affordable solutions for many stores. Throughout this next year, our industry will continue to expand even as the vaccine rolls out, and the world returns to normal.