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Automating the Sale

Do you remember when people talked about "online" stores versus "brick and mortar" stores? Industry experts use to love to argue which retail strategy they thought would win. The reality is, they have both survived, and in many cases thrived. Many online retailers are doing extremely well, as are brick and mortar sellers.

So where do we go from here?

Lately, I have been seeing many retailers and brand owners experimenting with vending machines as an opportunity to sell their products. What do you think of this concept? Is this a way of the future? Would you feel comfortable making major purchases through automated vending units? Can vending replace some smaller brick and mortar stores, saving on store leases?

I think this is a trend worth keeping a eye on. I think we are about to see an explosion in automated retailing, and I think the next generation is going to tie in social media with these machines.

Ready to be on the cutting edge? How could this concept work for the business in which you are involved? How can you automate what you market or sell within your business? 

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One could argue that automated selling brings to the consumer some of the better attributes of both online and brick and mortar retailing. Just like online purchasing, automated transactions through a vending machine are quick, convenient, relatively anonymous, and low pressure - but there is still that sense of permanence, tangibility, immediacy, and safety associated with brick and mortar purchasing.

It would depend on the product and the buyers. If the buyer already knows for sure what to buy, automated is great, for ease, anonimity, and convenience. But for someone unsure, a brick and mortar or an online store would be the better options.

LOL.. I remember my first with this vendo machine.. oh my.. DISASTER!!!

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