The traditional-style vending machine isn’t terribly exciting, often fading into the background until you’re looking for one.However, vending operators and advertisers have realized that the real estate on the face of a vending machine can be leveraged to yield a host of exciting new opportunities. One way they’re increasing the revenue potential of these vending machines is through the adoption of digital signage. Companies can use digital signage on vending machines not only to draw in more customers, but also to generate a new source of advertising income.

The April 13-15 NAMA OneShow in Chicago will showcase the latest digital signage and other technologies in vending and micro markets. To give you a head start on the show, we’ve listed different ways that digital signage benefits vending and micro markets.

Benefits of Digital Signage on Vending Machines

Increased Sales

People approaching a vending machine are ready to make a purchase. Digital signage provides a unique and effective way to talk to the customers at the point of purchase.

Promotions delivered through a digital signage screen are animated, and they have motion and sound. Human eyes are inherently attracted to motion. So, a promotion on a digital signage screen is more likely to attract and keep the attention of a customer than a static sign.

A digital signage screen on a vending machine maximizes the upsell potential, therefore increasing sales. Companies can program screens to include upsell options that the customer may not be aware of. This will increase the average transaction size.

A multibillion dollar snack conglomerate showed just how profitable digital signage on vending machines can be. In 2014, Mondelez International rolled out a digital signage-powered vending machine network and according to their Beta Test results, the HD motion graphics and 3D views of packaging, ingredients and nutrition facts contributed to an average dwell time exceeding 6 minutes and a 3X sales increase.

Increased Revenue

Advertisers are already running ads on TVs and paying for shelf space in grocery stores. Why not pay to run their ads on a digital signage-powered vending machine?

Vending operators can increase their revenue by selling ad space to advertisers and manufacturers. Digital signage offers an engaging platform for advertisers to communicate with their audience.

The technology also simplifies how the operator and advertiser track the performance of the ad. Calls to action, e.g. scanning a QR code to download a coupon, can be measured to see how the ad performed. Intelligent digital signage can also provide consumer demographics such as gender, age etc. which companies can use to further tailor and target the ads.

Such features make vending machines with digital signage a very lucrative advertising platform.

Architectural Ambience

In the past, big, ugly vending machines weren’t always welcome in higher-end settings. That’s because they often looked outdated and out of place in modern office spaces.

Today’s vending machines come equipped with digital signage displays, interactive touch screens and engaging content. They fit in better in today’s digitized world, and digitized consumers are more likely to use them.

Such interactive vending machines add visual appeal and modernize a location. They lend to the overall perception of a technology-savvy organization and help create a modern ambience that’s fresh and interesting.


Traditional static signage does not provide anything in the way of flexibility or customization. Digital signage on vending machines does.

All content has a shelf life. When the content on traditional signage becomes out of date, your only option is replacing the poster. However, this can be expensive and time-consuming.

Digital signage can save or eliminate costs associated with updating static signage. But, it also creates additional opportunities for engagement. Companies can customize digital signage content and instantly change it to suit a particular time frame. It can also be interactive, in which case it can be tailored to individual users.

Operators can also manage the network remotely from one central location, which gives them a lot of management flexibility.

With interactive signage and the right software solution, vending operators can gather data such as dwell times, anonymous demographics, traffic and overall interaction with the content. The ability to measure the effectiveness of your message is a powerful tool that makes traditional static signage seem, well, inflexible.


Improved Customer Engagement

One of the most significant advantages of digital signage-powered vending machines is their ability to engage with younger demographics who prefer a digital experience.

Today’s most prized and emerging demographic, Millennials, represent about a fourth of the entire population, with $200 billion in annual buying power. According to countless studies, they place great value on two things: customization and a digital experience.

Digital signage on vending machines create an opportunity for adding customization. The screens allow the user to easily navigate through a menu to see the available options and select the specific customizations that meet their preferences.

Digital signage also makes advertising more of an interaction than it has previously been.

High-definition displays running rich graphics and interactive promotions provide a dynamic visual experience. Undoubtedly, humans prefer motion and graphics over text. So, they will gravitate towards and spend more time on an interactive vending machine.

Intelligence is also being added to the technology so that it can detect and respond to individual viewers, offering heightened consumer engagement. For example, companies are programming intelligent screens to display certain content that’s triggered by a specific purchase or demographic.

Creating Memorable Experiences

Forward-thinking companies are going even further with the technology.

Pepsi rolled out The Pepsi Like Machine, a vending machine that doesn’t accept money, only Facebook “likes.” People could log in on Facebook via a 42-inch, built-in digital signage touchscreen, like the Pepsi Facebook page and get a free Pepsi. This kind of engagement with the brand creates memorable customer experiences, and gets Pepsi a lot of data.

In 2013, the Coca-Cola Company put interactive digital signage-enabled and -connected vending kiosks in both India and Pakistan, hostile neighbors due to decades of political tension. Each vending machine featured a touchscreen front showing people at the corresponding machine in the other country, and invited the people to interact and complete a small shared task — drawing a circle, doing a little dance — with someone on the other side. According to Coca-Cola:

The “Small World Machines” provided a live communications portal linking strangers in two nations divided by more than just borders, with the hope of provoking happiness and promoting cultural understanding around the world.

Such an emotional experience connects viewers with the brand, building loyalty and contributing to the bottom line.

Digital Signage: A Disruptive Technology in Vending?

Adopting digital signage is one way for vending operators to grow their business and enhance their competitive edge. 2016 – a big year for digital signage – is perhaps the best time to get into this space. Will the NAMA OneShow address this evolving technology in the vending marketplace? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Digital Signage on Vending Machines | NAMA OneShow