The Body Shop has recently made a partnership with a San-Francisco based company called ZoomSystems, to provide customers with high-end vending machines that will give them access to various beauty products by The Body Shop in places like airports, supermarkets, and chains like Stop&Shop. Talk about ‘fast beauty’ just like fast-food!!! The company ZoomSystems has based its business idea of the high-end vending machine, on the fact that people are tired of waiting in line (or queuing as the Brits say). Instead, the high-end vending machines would provide customers with a combination of online retail shopping from great quality brands with traditional retail shopping, in order words, the customer has faster access to their favorite products from their favorite brands in places where you may just not have time to wait.
This concept is growing rapidly and already found in 1000 airports, malls, supermarkets in the US and internationally. Companies that have adopted this concept are; Apple with Ipod, Best Buy, Macy’s espot, Proactiv Solutions, Sephora, and Sky Malls, and The Body Shop is one of its newest addition to its client portfolio. ZoomSystems has been attracting many different companies as clients, especially with retail products that can be bought individually and in small quantities. The machines for The Body Shop are still under preparations to be launched very soon. You will be able to see what they look like on ZoomSystems website zoomsystems.com. But to give you an idea of what they look like, check out Sephora’s vending machine example below.
The concept is clever in the sense that customers have easier access to their favorite products. They are also more likely to be attracted to purchasing them because of the very concept of a vending machine, which is usually fast and more affordable products that are supposed to make us happy and smile, just like the snickers and kit kats do whenever we have a craving for sugar and run to the vending machines. The psychology of it all is clever in that sense.
However, for customers who love going into the actual store to try on products and spend a couple of minutes chatting with sales representatives, they would not be attracted to it. I see it working very well at airports where women are rushing to different destinations and sometimes forgetting to take their favorite products. They would simply run to the vending machine and get it, without feeling like they are wasting time in line/queuing. It also means less rentals for these brands, where they might not need to open up an actual store in an international airport but may just place a vending machines with fewer product range and still sell. It gives the brand a way of being present in a country where they may have not been present through an actual store.
What’s your take on this? Good idea or just another annoying marketing/sales move by retail brands?? Comment on it!!