WASHINGTON -- Vagabond introduced its latest retail-purchasing platform at the Google Cloud Next conference in San Francisco early in March. The new system, termed vīv, is making its vending industry debut today at the National Automatic Merchandising Association's OneShow in Las Vegas.
Vagabond's viv mobile apps allow consumers to walk up a vending machine, scroll through a menu of products, review product details and make a purchase using whatever form of payment they prefer. The product then is delivered without the consumer ever touching the machine. Operators also gain access to Vagabond's instant Insight telemetry hardware, viv cashless platform and the vending management software of their choice for $10 a month.
Viv is the latest result of Vagabond's founding objective of providing solutions that reduce the cost of operating vending machines. Earlier developments have included a mobile, MDB-powered vending management software solution, the Vagabond Insight telemetry system, and One Rate consulting and financing. Now viv addresses the objection to many traditional cashless solutions: that they are too expensive to make sense for many locations.
Another motive for developing the platform was to satisfy the desire of many operators to differentiate themselves in the eyes of their customers, Vagabond explained. The viv platform gives them tools for distinguishing their businesses while empowering them with instant telemetry data.
"Not since the bill acceptor and coin changer has the industry made such a great leap forward in a consumer's experience," boasted Vagabond vice-president of product and market strategy John Powell.
In addition to providing engagement, viv establishes direct relationships with consumers so operators and brands can get to know their preferences. The platform also knows where consumers are located because of its geolocation capabilities, powered by Vagabond's partnership with Google.
Since viv instantly knows which product is selected, brands can interact with the consumer as purchases happen by catering targeted promotional and loyalty programs to particular machines, specific consumers, individual products and particular times of the day, among other variables.
Vagabond has been deploying the first 1,000 Insights that enable viv during the first quarter of this year, reported Vagabond founder and chief operating officer Juan Jorquera. He added that 49% of purchases at viv-enabled machines are from consumers using the mobile commerce platform.
"We're very excited to partner with a dozen full-service vending operators in key markets across the U.S. that we view as innovators," Jorquera said.
The viv technology provides benefits beyond point-of-sale interaction, such as remote pricing and the ability to charge a premium for purchasing through the viv service.
Viv's flexible platform integrates with VMS and ERP systems other than Vagabond. As a result, Seed Office, VendMax and Easitrax users can deploy Vagabond Insight telemetry transceivers to incorporate viv in their operations. Vagabond's instant telemetry network also enables prekitting and curbside polling for operators of every size. Vagabond presently is producing 10,000 Insights, which are available to reserve on its website.
Vending operators can explore viv, One Rate and the Vagabond VMS platform at vgbnd.co.
Visit Vagabond at the NAMA OneShow in booth No. 227.