It’s time to lead the smart vending revolution

Changing consumer behaviour and the pandemic have vastly accelerated growth and opportunity in the vending market. But the real opportunity lies in smart vending says Martin Gaffney, Commercial Director, Tharsus.

By Martin Gaffney

Driven by changes in customer behaviour and hugely accelerated during the pandemic, perceptions of what can be vended have shifted dramatically. While great for customers, this is bringing frustration to retailers trying to keep pace with the ever- increasing volumes needed to match new demand trends. They don’t have a clear idea of what’s selling and what’s not. Stock control is out of control as under supply vs over supply issues typically surface after it’s too late to do anything about them. But now, a new generation of vending systems is emerging to solve these problems, offering consumers more variety and a better experience and so unlock new opportunities for brands and retailers to gain market leading advantage.

Smart vending will re-shape retail as a whole

Smart vending uses the power of advanced digital technology to unlock previously unknown data on consumer trends and behaviour. More and more retailers are starting to understand the high value of insight they cannot get through conventional over the counter sales. Data gathered and analysed by smart vending machines allows retailers to drive significant advances in the customer user experiences as well as exponentially widening the customer offer through availability of products and services which cannot be supported by traditional vending machines. Add to this, cashless payments, loyalty, personalisation and greatly enhanced convenience and you can see the power of smart vending to re-shape the future of not just vending, but retail as an industry

Vending machines process over 2 billion transactions per day globally. But only around a third have smart capability. Given the vending market is set for exponential growth – predicted at £1.6 billion in 2022 and rising to £2.7 billion by 2028 – a huge opportunity exists to ride this growth wave, harness the growing appetite of retailers and bring smart vending into the market at scale. And now – at this early stage with very few players in the game– is the perfect opportunity to lead the smart vending revolution.

Scale is key 

But to take it, the ability to scale will be critical. And with smart vending this is doubly tricky because you‘re working with both the hardware and software needs of the solution. And developing one in isolation of the other risks a lengthy and expensive disaster.

Tharsus electro-mechanical engineer at work Tharsus digital expert at work

At Tharsus we have both the electro- mechanical engineering expertise to resolve hardware as well as the digital expertise to design the software and develop the data capture and mapping platforms needed to keep the solution truly smart. We’re unique in offering both under one roof through a multi- disciplinary un- siloed team which works together across the whole solution. Add to this our deep understanding and investment in bringing first of kind products successfully to market – we have commercialised tech for some of the world’s most important businesses – you can say we’re your perfect partner.

We've been working on a radical new concept in smart vending. You can read all about it here.

Martin leads the team who develop strategic relationships into close customer collaborations which create tech that matters to solve tough global challenges. 

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