Self-Service Trends

Younger Generations Willing to Buy Non-Traditional Goods at Vending Machines and Spend More on Them

February 28, 2020 | By Maeve Duska

Younger Generations Willing to Buy Non-Traditional Goods at Vending Machines and Spend More on Them

As younger generations are being blamed for being industry “killers”, their penchant for advanced technology that simplifies and speeds processes like payments, offers instant gratification, and intuits their needs is propelling once sleepy industries like unattended retail into the spotlight.

Recently we announced the results of a joint survey with PYMNTS which underscored the expectations of younger consumers that unattended retail become an everyday way of life, and their willingness to spend more when using these channels.  Our survey found that Millennials and Generation Z, in particular, are most willing to extend their self-service experiences beyond snacks and beverages.  A surprising 40 percent of Millennials and 35 percent of Generation Z said they would most likely buy more items if non-traditional products were offered in vending machines. Generation X felt similarly with 34 percent, while only 19 percent of Seniors and Baby Boomers said they would buy more non-traditional items from vending machines.

As an example, interestingly, 61 percent of Millennials and 59 percent of Generation Z would be willing to buy clothing and accessories through vending machines and kiosks, with 54 percent of Generation X and 45 percent of Seniors and Baby Boomers also agreeing.

Worth noting, every generation ranks health and beauty products highest among non-traditional products willing to be bought through vending machines and kiosks.  The vast majority (82 percent) of survey respondents said they would be interested in purchasing health items from a vending machine, and 64 percent said they were interested in purchasing beauty items from a vending machine if they were to be offered today.

Ahead of the curve, some innovative brands in the health and beauty space have already started using vending machines to sell products such as makeup and hair care, and last year, CVS announced the addition of three vending machines placed in select NYC subway stations selling health and medicine, beauty and personal care, personal tech, and snacks as “part of a broader effort to modernize retail offerings in the subway system.

Unattended and self-service technology has been evolving for decades, with many of USAT’s ePort devices able to accept mobile payments through NFC well before it was trendy.  Now, these advanced solutions are bringing the big box retailers and brands an opportunity to expand sales channels on a silver platter, as they are able to not only offload high-touch tasks to automated machines, such as key cutting, but to put the product where the people are, extend hours of operation, reduce lines and increase customer satisfaction.

With vending machines connected to cashless payment systems accept cash, card and phone payments, retailers can also now also tap into purchase data to better understand what, when, and where consumers are spending their time and money when they shop.

As younger generations bring more money into the economy, and also an expectation for simplified, fast, unattended experiences, traditional retailers that are hesitant to commit resources to a whole new business strategy will soon be missing out on potential for new revenue streams. Those who do will be presented with a tremendous opportunity to add revenue and growth.

For more information and to access the survey click here.


Maeve Duska

Chief Marketing Officer

With more than 15 years of experience at USA Technologies, Maeve is passionate about sharing her expertise and knowledge in unattended retail and how platforms like USAT’s are enabling solutions through payments. She is an active contributor to Forbes and a frequent presenter at industry conferences such as CES, NAMA, and Money 20/20.

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