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December 2nd, 2008Could vending machines ease retail crisis?

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by Jason Stamper

Eight out of ten British shoppers are happy to swap their purchasing from more traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ retail outlets to vending machines, according to a survey of 1,000 shoppers.

The research, commissioned by payment technology firm Ingenico, found that attitudes to making purchases from vending machines is changing. The research looked at three areas when using a kiosk or vending machine: the maximum amount willing to be spent on a single purchase, what type of goods consumers would be happy to buy, and what the preferred method of payment would be.

The results show that the UK is catching up with the US, where usage of kiosks and vending machines is already widespread, and even Japan, where there is already a vending machine for every 23 people.

However Ingenico noted that the change in attitudes is an evolution rather than a revolution: Nearly two-thirds of respondents were comfortable paying up to ¬£2 in a vending machine, however ¬£5 materialised as the ‘money-ceiling’ and, further to this, only 1% would spend over ¬£10.

Surprisingly, nearly 5% said they would be comfortable spending any amount. But 16.5% would still rather not use kiosks or vending machines at all.

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