Unattended Retail

How Vending Systems Can Prevent Thefts And Drive Conversions


Retailers face a balancing act when it comes to high-value and high-shrink items: How do they protect these items against theft, without sacrificing sales? These items are sometimes kept behind glass – under lock and key, no less – and this setup means that consumers might have to find an associate to unlock an item to make a purchase. But digital vending systems can provide an alternate way to prevent theft, without discouraging customers from making purchases.

CompuCom’s point-of-purchase digital vending machines have in-aisle vending systems, so customers don’t have to call for staff. The system, which was developed by a division of Office Depot, dispenses purchased products in seconds. Such technology can be used for a variety of products, including electronics, razor blades, perfume and even bottles of wine.

To complete the purchase, these types of vending systems can integrate into a retailer’s existing payment and point-of-sale (POS) systems, such as NFC, EMV cards, PIN and ID badge swipes. The machines can also come with subscription model pricing for retailers.

“Having worked with seven of the top 10 U.S. retailers, we’ve learned quite a bit, both about what they need and want, and what makes customers the happiest,” CompuCom Chief Product Officer Ken Jackowitz said in an announcement. “Point-of-purchase digital vending holds massive potential across retailers to increase user and customer satisfaction and transform the in-store customer experience. It’s a minimal overhead, maximum ROI solution that quickly pays for itself in both labor and shrinkage savings, as well as higher conversion rates.”

Overall, there is $7 billion in total annual vending machine sales in the U.S., and the projected size of the interactive kiosk market is $34.1 billion, according to the PYMNTS Unattended Retail Tracker. Food and beverage kiosks are still the most common and familiar, claiming 20 percent and 15 percent of interactive kiosk market share, respectively. However, the presence of kiosks is fast becoming the norm in many other categories — photos, ticketing, clothing, parking, information and ATMs, just to name a few.


Exclusive PYMNTS Study: 

The Future Of Unattended Retail Report: Vending As The New Contextual Commerce, a PYMNTS and USA Technologies collaboration, details the findings from a survey of 2,325 U.S. consumers about their experiences with shopping via unattended retail channels and their interest in using them going forward.