Ushering in the New Age of Vending Machines – SmartRetail, Shaking up Singapore’s Retail Sceneby Fintech News Singapore January 9, 2018
At the forefront of transforming the age-old vending machine industry is SmartRetail, an automated retail specialist that recently launched in Singapore.
With close to 400 machines in Hong Kong and another 100 operating in partnership with local established retailers such as Guardian, Giant, Procter & Gamble, Lenovo and Amway, SmartRetail is set to bring back a fresh concept to an old business model in a whole new way.
“With the similar consumer demographic and mindset, expanding to Singapore made the most logical sense after Hong Kong. Shoppers in both countries value the convenience and experience our machines bring to a fast-paced urban life”
Explained Mr Adam So, Co-Founder and CEO of SmartRetail.
On why SmartRetail is posed to make a difference in Singapore, Co-Founder and Director, Mr Kevin Williams said:
“SmartRetail takes old school vending machines to the next level. We’re not just a traditional machine for snacks and drinks. You can customise our vending machines to sell almost anything!Some of the products our clients are selling include health and beauty supplies, Fitbit devices, and even smartphones and computer accessories. The machines are connected to the internet, so you can track sales and inventory, update product information and prices and upload marketing videos remotely. We are changing how people view vending machines forever.”
A New Solution for Singapore’s Weakening Retail Scene
With numerous reports in the media bemoaning Singapore’s poor retail outlook, it is no secret that the retail market has been facing tough times. Deteriorating retail sales amid economic slowdown, mounting cost pressures and competition from e-commerce all contribute to weakening retail sentiment.
Furthermore, with Millennials now making up the largest generation in Singapore’s workforce, they represent the biggest group of shoppers both online and offline. Here to give the retail landscape the jump start it needs, SmartRetail shapes Singapore’s future shopping trend by catering to Millennials with its innovative technologies and interactive marketing platform.
SmartRetail bridges the gap between the convenience of e-commerce and the physical brick-and-mortar experience. Consumers get to see products in front of them, and are greeted with product-specific promotional videos based on their selection to guide them through the purchasing decision. Further making this experience a seamless one is SmartRetail’s cashless payment system that accepts credit cards and mobile payment options.
Elevating the traditional vending machine with innovative technology
SmartRetail’s cutting-edge vending machines are equipped with the latest technological advancements, including a cloud management platform. Come first half of 2018, selected machines will also come fitted with an Artificial Intelligence system. With these technologies, retailers can gain valuable insight into shoppers’ behaviours and preferences at particular locations and times.
Collecting useful marketing and sales data on consumers’ age and gender to drive more effective marketing campaigns has never been easier. SmartRetail’s management web application also enables retailers to update products and prices, track sales and inventory and deploy marketing videos remotely.
SmartRetail’s rental business model has caught the eye of a multitude of brands seeking to expand retail avenues without incurring manpower and rental costs. In its partnership with Guardian, SmartRetail’s machines are integrated with Guardian’s SAP system, which automatically sends sales data and inventory data to Guardian’s internal systems. Other brands using SmartRetail include 7-Eleven, Boxgreen, Anytime Fitness, Citibank, SGPomades.com, Swire, Compass Group, Tenacity Toys and many more.
The company has plans to expand its business regionally to markets in Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia in the coming year.
“Millennials crave interaction, new experiences and are constantly searching for more options. E-commerce and physical stores are retail options on both ends of the spectrum but until now, there has never really been anything in between.
With SmartRetail, retailers and consumers now have a new platform that they can utilize. We have a client who recently generated over SGD10,000 in monthly sales through our vending machines. This validates our business model and I know it’s only a matter of time before other retailers come onboard”
says Mr Williams.
Featured image via SmartRetail Facebook page