Retail Business Technology Expo 2015
Tuesday 10th March at Olympia
Over 350 companies exhibited with a focus on payments, supply chain, marketing, m-commerce and e-commerce. Innovation and IT was at the heart of the expo as retail faces challenges from new technology and the adoption and acceleration of social media.
One area that caught my eye was the vending machines and how these were being future proofed in light of sophisticated consumer targeting.
“It’s been a long, hard, and hot day. You need a drink so you drag yourself to the vending machine, place a coin into the slot, and watch a character retrieve your drink and pour you a glass”.
The glass door of the vending machine is used for the transparent display and anything from customer’s product images to promotional videos about the vending machine’s contents can be used, the real fun starts when the customer selects a product. Using the virtual selection buttons, which when pressed dissolve away, and a handful of animated characters appear to grab the bottle you chose and ride an elevator to the bottom of the vending machine, where your real-world drink appears. Finally, a thank-you message appears on the window as you grab your drink. ……………..This is one product to look out for in the near future.
The overriding message of the day was retail and store efficiency and the way that IT and technology can both harness and deliver this. Smaller companies with emerging technologies sat alongside the big established players and developments over the next 12 months should prove very interesting for how we shop, how we pay and mobility underpinning this.