Thursday, August 12, 2010

Marketing Japan: Japan's Love Affair with Vending Machines

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

Japan has vending machines everywhere you look. It just goes to show you how little crime there in in this country still to this day.

You can see vending machines on the corner of any street in a big city like Tokyo but you can also see them on the corner on some dirt road out in the country in the middle of what seems like nowhere!

Now, in Tokyo, the game has been taken to the next level. In Shinjuku station a touch-screen vending machine has been installed.   

As online magazine Dvice reports:

Japan has a love affair with vending machines. You can get anything, from hot coffee to hot noodles to fresh fruit to cigarettes, from the ubiquitous machines. So it's only natural that they'd jump on the touchscreen vending machine bandwagon first.

A new touchscreen machine called the aCure has just been installed in the bustling Shinagawa Station in Tokyo, and it's already been attracting a crowd. Featuring the huge slew of various beverages that salarymen are used to, it doesn't do anything particularly novel. But it sure looks awesome, and it's flashy. And you know what? That might just be enough for it to catch on.

No, the one in Shinjuku station is not that great, but it is a test case. The next model is rumored to be something like the test model that Samsung (a Korean manufacturer) unveiled last year.

Here's a video of that device: 

Pretty cool, eh? Now I usually never buy anything from these vending machines, but I might buy something from one of these just to play with it...

But then again, if I can play with it as much as this girl does in the video, then I already know what the machine does, and, if I am not really thirsty, then why buy the drink?

That's what the manufactures of the machine need to figure out next: How to get people who play the machine to actually make a purchase!

Aha! Now there's the $64 million dollar question.


Keywords: Shinjuku, vending machine, touch screen, Marketing Japan, Mike Rogers, Mike in Tokyo Rogers


Andy "In Japan" said...

Japan has vending machines in the middle of nowhere, even like the part of Japan where I live (the sticks), and beer vending machines as well. I have even seen milk (and in one Tokyo hotel, beer) vending refrigerators where people are on the honor system to pay. This is all possible because Japanese people don't steal very much and they don't vandalize the vending machines. Oh, and less bullying by government control freaks means beer and cigarettes are legal to sell via vending machine. Does Mike Rogers agree with me about the reason for better vending here? Or is he more concerned that I sorta ripped off his moniker. See, I'm Amer-i-can and I stole something! Case closed.

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Thanks Andy "in Japan"!

Wow! You still have alcohol vending machines on an honor system? Those disappeared around Tokyo about 2 years ago... I do agree with the reason for better vending in Japan too! I wish I could tell you who I stole the "in Japan" from, but he'd probably just tell you that he stole it too! Take care, my friend Andy in Japan! - Mike

Anonymous said...

Each of those vending machines carry an inventory of $200 -$300 .....

Andy "In Japan" said...

Thanks Mike,
About 2 blocks from TCAT terminal there is a hotel called Hotel Pension Zen. On each floor they have a small fridge filled with beer. I stayed there this past December but forgot to steal anything. If you want, you can go there, lift a few freebies, and help America retain it's bad reputation for dishonesty. It's up to you to show some patriotism!

Refurbished and used Vending Machines said...

It's true that when you venture in this business you would still have time for your personal and social life. It's very low maintenance in all aspects.

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