24U App is a unique mobile application developed by the leading vending manufacturer Unicum in partnership with the British company 24vend. It will officially be introduced for the Russian market at the IX international trade fair VendExpo in Moscow, March 11-13, 2015.
What makes this app unique? 24U customers "connect" their phone to a vending machine and request its planogram. Drinks and snacks available in that particular machine appear on the phone screen. Customers make their selection, pay with a pre-linked credit card and collect their purchase, essentially without touching the machine.
According to its developers, the idea for this app emerged several years ago when many vending machine manufacturers began to experiment with touch screen concepts: “it was very beautiful and convenient but also prohibitively costly and unrealistic for mass production”. Unicum and 24vend transferred the idea from machine façades to phone screens eliminating extra investment requirements for the operators.
The initial version of the app debuted at an international exhibition in Milan. “Brilliant! Now that’s what I call innovation! Finally, something new to see at the exhibition. That's what I overheard from visitors who tested our app," says Michael Grinman, CIO Unicum. “At a conference in Brussels, other participants jokingly lamented that we are developing too quickly." Last December the demo-version of the mobile app for vending purchases attracted a great deal of attention from European and American industry leaders at the EVA conference in Brussels.
1. Without cash or exact change, the customer always has an opportunity to make a purchase.
2. Having bought something, the customer does not have to get the change and re-load money for the next purchase. The customer selects any number of items and only then makes a single payment, as if shopping online.
3. Having the full product menu on their personal screen allows the customer to think about what they want without haste. There is no queue behind them, no pressure to make a quick choice.
4. The app is not limited to a particular machine or a specific payment system.
5. With such an app, the operators can manage their own frequent customer loyalty programs.
6. 24U also offers unlimited advertising capabilities for the operators.
The 24U app is available from the App Store. Unicum and 24vend have completed the Apple certification process. It is also available from GooglePlay. Upon completion of current testing period in Moscow, the app will expand into regional markets.