Digital signage brings interactivity to vending machines

Vending machines equipped with interactive touchscreen digital signage offer opportunities to increase customer engagement.

Vending machines are nothing new, but thanks to digital signage they have recently become a lot more interesting. Vending machines are undergoing advancements in interactive capabilities, creating new opportunities for brands to engage with customers while they are deciding which snack or beverage to purchase.  

The longer a customer is engaged at a vending machine, the greater the opportunity to maximize sales during that interaction. How can companies increase engagement with vending machines and, in turn, increase sales? Some companies are starting to deploy "smart" vending machines equipped with digital touchscreen displays.  

Mondelez International, a snack conglomerate, sees the gains to be made from this kind of technology, as it plans to put interactive vending machines in high-traffic areas like hospitals and universities, Digital Signage Today reported. The interactive touchscreen digital signage on these machines not only increases customer engagement by letting users view item packaging on-screen, but gives companies the ability to alter advertising as needed, using information about customer preferences to make tailored suggestions.

Some vendors have turned to gamification (the use of games to increase engagement) to put a new spin on the vending machine experience and increase the time customers are spending at vending machines in the process. These intelligent vending machines allow users to link up to the machine with their own personal information, enabling it to create personalized settings based on individual preferences. 

In a similar fashion, quick-service restaurants are finding that digital signage provides a useful opportunity to boost sales by maximizing customer interaction time. Whether it's through an interactive touchscreen, digital screen or video wall advertising, when digital signage and creativity combine, the sky's the limit for companies looking for an innovative edge in retail.