Published on December 9th,2010 at 6:15 PM
By >Akihabara News Team

JR East Water Business’s Smart Marketing Vending Machines

JR East Water Business's Smart Marketing Vending Machines

If you walk through certain JR East stations in Tokyo, you may have seen a huge, gray, Acure vending machine with tall, vertical eyes gazing around at people waiting for their trains. JR East Water Business Co., the beverage company of the JR East group, has been operating these smart, oversized vending machines (they say bigger heads means bigger brains means more smarts, especially regarding dinosaurs and male humans) in Shinagawa since August, and last month at Tokyo station.

A 47-inch touchscreen panel dominates the front of this beast, which shows two tall eyes when in sleep mode and switches to the storefront mode, which displays available drinks (and hides ones that are sold out, so that no ugly red “Sold out” buttons appear). Payment can be made in the traditional hard money method, as well as with a Suica or a FeliCa on a cell phone.

What makes this vending machine even more interesting is that there is a camera above the screen that determines the age and gender of a person standing in front of it, which the machine uses to “subtly” offer demographically-targeted drink selections, as well as collect marketing data based on customer’s actual choices – no identifiable images or information are stored. That point-of-sale marketing data is pushed to a central management server via WiMAX; JR East Water Business have already written a press release about results of the initial marketing research conducted by the two machines at Shinagawa station:

  • The smart vending machine makes approximately 3x the sales of other vending machines;
  • There are regularly crowds (and lines) in front of the vending machines, waiting for an opportunity to interact with them;
  • Primary customers are men in their 20s and 30s
    • 63% men, 37% women
    • Men in their 30s outnumber men in their 20s that use the vending machines
      • Men in their 30s start the day with canned black coffee;
      • Energy drinks purchased by men in their 30s are Lipovitan D in the morning, and Oronamin C and Red Bull in the evening to night;
      • Mineral water and Pocari Sweat are bought most by men in their 30s after midnight
  • It used to be thought that juices were mostly bought by women, but the Shinagawa vending machines sold way more juices than expected to men in the late evenings and at night
    • JR East Water Business introduced the Aomori Ringo 100 on the 16th, with a reworked label design that appeals more to men than their initial design


Industrial design company Design Studio S, more well-known for designing smaller-scale, interior objects such as calculators, manometers, cell phones, and coffee makers, designed this unique vending machine, including the dispenser slot higher off the ground (so that women don’t need to crouch, apparently).

JR East Water Business hope to expand them to five hundred vending machines within the next two years.

Category Hands On Offbeat
              
JR East Water Business’s Smart Marketing Vending MachinesJR East Water Business’s Smart Marketing Vending MachinesJR East Water Business’s Smart Marketing Vending MachinesJR East Water Business’s Smart Marketing Vending MachinesJR East Water Business’s Smart Marketing Vending MachinesJR East Water Business’s Smart Marketing Vending Machines
JR East Water Business’s Smart Marketing Vending MachinesJR East Water Business’s Smart Marketing Vending Machines
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Comments
 

  • Laurenz

    Nice design, but what is the big deal? Just another drinks vendinding machine …

  • monique

    Well, they are just making things more futuristic I believe. It’s pretty cool I think. Yes, I agree nice design too.

  • http://twitter.com/atincaksoy Atınç Aksoy

    kesinlikle çok başarılı bir inovasyon

 

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