How vending machine industry is helping in social empowerment.
Almost all of us have experienced embarrassment when buying certain products like sanitary pads, condoms, etc. from a store. Fearing judgement on the part of the owner. This uneasiness among customers is termed as “retail embarrassment”. Which is a driving factor for their shopping basket size. Both in terms of volume and price and this is where Vending machine Industry can make a change.
While most of the millennials have moved to purchasing such “embarrassing” products online. There is still a lacunae in terms of the longer delivery time for online purchases.
The avoidance of these impulsive (and sometimes urgent) purchases by customers who need them, are inhibitive not only from a business sales perspective but have social implications as well. Since most of these purchases are related to safe sex, better reproductive hygiene and population control measures.
Being such important instruments for ensuring good public health. It is the endeavor of the government and even non-governmental organizations to make such products available at the cheapest or subsidized rates to ensure affordability for the rich and the poor alike.
While online marketplaces offer the garb of anonymity for the “private” shopping experience (you don’t even have to show your face to the courier delivery executive if you choose the “leave at the doorstep” delivery option). But the exorbitant (going as high as threefold at times) premium charged by the online retailers. Over and above the retail prices of these products makes it for the majority of the Indian population belonging to lower income strata to buy these health improving, and at times life saving, commodities.
Here in comes the novelty of an already available physical retail option – vending machines. Vending machines provide an inherently “personal” shopping experience as only one person can purchase from the machine.
By making a vending machine “smart” through the use of digital technology for capturing and processing real time data, the vending machine operator can provide both sales insights to the product manufacturers as well as provide the much needed data backing to guide policy responses by governments in matters related to public health.
Read more about how Health care sector is booming In Vending Machine Industry: https://blogs.vendify.in/healthcare-and-vending-machine/
Yet people are afraid to ask their local pharmacist for a pack of condoms for the fear of judgment and frown from the chemist that this purchase request will elicit. And the fear is not without any basis because, more often than not, the chemist does give one a long stare before bringing the product to the counter, especially in rural parts of the country.
Considering the importance of availability and affordability of public health to propagate safe sex practices. Many state governments in India have taken the initiate to install Condom Vending Machines (CVMs) at metro stations, college campuses, hospitals, dispensaries, residential societies and other public cases.
Apart from these obvious locations, vending machine operators may also tie up with hotel and resort chains. To install vending machines on their premises as people tend to buy more condoms when they are vacationing.
It is, therefore, no wonder that girls ask for sanitary pads at the chemist shop in a hushed tone. And the pharmacists, in turn, exacerbate the awkwardness by wrapping the already packaged napkins with newspapers and placing them in black bags. A vending machine can wipe away the hesitation on the part of both the seller and buyer in these cases.
As menstrual hygiene is detrimental for women’s health, many governments and civil society representatives have installed vending machines. Even if it’s only as a pilot project, on college and school campuses, metro stations, bus stops, railway stations, jails, etc.
Since time is of essence in preventing birth. To be effective, most contraception pills must be consumed within 48 hours of conception. E-commerce is also not a viable option even if one opts for express delivery. Leaving the customer more desperate in the face of the prying eyes of the retailers.
The vending machines can act as the much needed saviour in that scenario.
Even at bustling locations, instead of installing vending machines that specifically dispense contraceptive pills. Vending machine operators may find it better to club these pills along with other medicines in a designated “healthcare vending machine “shoring up sales and subsequently revenues.
But purchasing such kits near your place of residence can still stir up controversies, especially for unmarried women. It, thus, makes eminent sense for people to opt for such purchase options that maintain their “retail privacy”.
Vending machines essentially offer a physical purchase option. It also provides a way around the privacy invasion concerns expressed by users of this category of products. As such, the best places to deploy vending machines dispensing pregnancy kits would be at public places. Such as metro stations, hospitals, hotels, clubs. Where people can buy these kits without the risk of running into someone they know and feel embarrassed.
Yet again, the vending machine Industry can choose to club this specific offering with other healthcare items. Unlike pregnancy kits first aid kits are usable at many more locations. As harbingers of change in the public healthcare system for products.
As an IoT SaaS provider for automating the entire supply chain of a vending machine business. Vendify anticipates and delivers all the backhand support to such vending machine entrepreneurs. So that they can truly focus on moving ahead with their good intentions. To know more about how Vendify can help vending business owners while they pursue this noble cause, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To know more about Vendify, please do check out our previous blog on how will the retailer customer experience be in the post COVID world:-