A few years ago, one could only dream of high-tech touchscreen vending machines with video demonstrations and text that could help brands sell and promote their products in real-time. This was made possible by Vengo Labs, a software and media company that developed a blend of interactive digital media and point-of-purchase to engage consumers and help brands promote their product at the time of purchase.
A small and desirable design is what Vengo Labs proposes, a micro vending machine that, in addition to selling things, is ideal for publicizing your brand, product or service. Vengo vending machines are ideal for placing anywhere, be it a restaurant, a hotel, a university or even a cafeteria. You can sell what you want in them, from candy staples, snacks and drinks to small cosmetics and phone chargers. The only limitation is that each product must have, at most, the dimensions of an iPhone.
Whenever a customer purchases something, a cloud-based inventory monitoring notifies the customer and Vengo. The best part is that payments are cashless, and only accept debit, credit and NFC cards. If a customer does not receive a product, the automatic sensors allow automatic refunds.
In addition to their small size, these machines have a screen on which you can place all kinds of information. The above includes trivia, a short advertising video, a survey or simply a game that invites interaction between your brand and the user.
Currently, these machines can be located practically throughout the United States and in some cities in Australia. To achieve its goal of international expansion, the Vengo team is also open to collaborating with distributors in any country in the world.
Vengo Labs first gained attention when it appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in Season 7. The founder and co-founder, Brian Shimmerlik and Steven Bofill, successfully placed their pitch and walked away with $2 million in exchange for up to 3% of the company, at 7% interest to be paid over three years.
Our Review of Vengo Labs
Brian pitched his Vengo Labs successfully in the Shark Tank show and transformed the entire concept of a vending machine we used to know. When Vengo was established in 2012, they first started off with the manufacture of small hi-tech machines for various products and not the wall-mounted vending machine they pitched on the show. The first product they manufactured was the TaxiTreats, a vending machine mounted inside a Taxi. But the concept of TaxiTreats has not yet taken off, even after gaining a $1 million investment.
But that didn’t stop the Vengo Labs team. They set their TaxiTreats invention into the revolutionary hi-tech Vengo vending machine that can hold up to six different products and a total of hundred products, depending on the location.
You might have spotted a Vengo vending machine, a sleek, modern-looking touch-screen machine mounted on a wall around your campus, hotel or restaurant. They are much smaller than the traditional vending machines and have a vibrant color scheme.
After they appeared on the Shark Tank show, the company started expanding the number of locations of their machines installation with the funding they gained. In 2016, Vengo reached 45 school and university campuses, where students could buy items high in demand while being an audience for Vengo’s advertising. In fact, Vengo is now among the fastest-growing private companies, which has grown by 807 % in three years.
Recently, Vengo Labs connected its software platform to make a touchless solution allowing users to control the vending machine with their mobile phones. Users can interact with the QR on the Vengo’s vending machine, select their desired product, and make a purchase without even touching the vending machine. The company has made the entire brand experience touchless and cashless.
Vengo vending machines now perform over 280,000 customer engagements with their diverse locations in hotels and universities every month. According to the founder, the biggest selling point of the Vengo Vending machines in the future is their marketing feature, although the company makes a profit from the product’s sale. Its ability to create advertising and content in real-time will become the business’s real asset.
Although the company has been expanding geographically, most of the growth of these vending machines happens in New York. However, overall the vending machine market has seen a negative trend facing strong competition from supermarkets, convenience stores and micro markets.
Pros of Vengo Labs
- High-tech, compact, touch-screen vending machines that streamline the complete vending machine process
- Offer marketing videos and texts to advertise the products in real-time.
- Vengo Labs has made cashless payments possible. Vengo vending machines accept debit and credit cards.
- Now introduced touchless vending machines where users can connect to the vending machine through a QR code and purchase their desired product from their phone screen.
Cons of Vengo Labs
- The only drawback these vending machines have is that they are cashless. Where this feature is a big advantage for most users, it can be a negative point for some users who do not have cards.
Who is Vengo Labs for?
Vengo vending machines are meant to be installed in hotels, restaurants, large apartments, and other public places. The biggest benefit they offer to consumers is the digitally customized touch screens offering real-time advertising at the time of purchase. This feature attracts many big-budget advertisers as their product gets promoted even if the user isn’t purchasing it.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Currently, there are now alternatives to Vengo vending machines in the market. Although touchscreen vending machines have been around for years, they do not streamline the whole process or do real-time marketing of the products like Vengo Labs. In addition, most vending machines work on cash, whereas Vengo vending machines offer the convenience of cards.
Our Final Thoughts!
Vengo Labs is indeed a success and a solution to the newly emerging needs of customers using vending machines. Despite the downward trend witnessed in the vending machine sector in the past few years, Vengo Labs’ business has grown and expanded to diverse locations, and users appreciate it.