Social vending: The future of gift shopping?

Written by Paper. Posted in Drive, Innovation

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Published on March 22, 2016 with 1 Comment

What if you could buy a gift for someone at a vending machine and they could pick it up at another vending machine? You don’t have to wonder anymore because Pepsi has just done it for you. A recently unveiled Pepsi beverage machine allows several options including one that allows the user to buy a gift drink for a friend. The buyer enters the recipient’s name and phone number. A text message containing a redeemable code is sent and the giftee can pick up the drink at another like-minded vending machine. Even more, the buyer can record a personal video message as well. Buying a drink for someone takes on a whole new meaning here as the machine also allows you to buy drinks for strangers.
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Some are lamenting the lack of a Facebook tie-in. After all, what is a social vending machine without a connection to social media? However, not everyone is on Facebook – yet. In any case, this new development got us thinking about the whole spectrum of vending machines and the wide range of possibilities for gifts. What if you could send a meal, an iPod, clothing, a cereal or a car this way? Well, you’d have to be Oprah to send the car but the rest of it isn’t that far fetched. There are few cases where such a system wouldn’t work. You couldn’t donate blood or a kidney this way, so possibilities aren’t endless, but this really could be the future of gift shopping.

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  1. “Happy Birthday Mom – Your Birthday present is waiting for at the vending machine located between 9th and Colfax.”