VIGIX and Intel® AIM Suite: Transforming Automated Retail, Couponing and Sampling

Date: 
06/18/2012

Executive Summary

Vending machines are typically large, complex, expensive-to-operate machines that require regular maintenance and restocking. VIGIX has developed a high-tech dispensing kiosk with a footprint of two square feet that has no moving parts and can be restocked by third-party delivery services. Intel® AIM Suite enables the VIGIX kiosk to track user demographics and purchase behavior to optimize locations and product offerings.

The Challenge

In 2005, VIGIX was founded with one goal in mind – to transform automated retail and consumer engagement by enabling companies to deliver a physical product to consumers exactly at the point of need in premium locations. Traditional vending machines are large, complicated, and costly to operate. A substantial field organization and supply chain must be in place to provide regular maintenance and restocking. Additionally, because of size and appearance, vending machines are not allowed in premium locations. What if there was an attractive, reliable, efficient alternative that could be re-stocked by a third party such as UPS?

The Solution

VIGIX partnered with IDEO, one of the world’s leading design firms, to create a dispensing, couponing and sampling solution like no other. The VIGIX kiosk has a no-moving-parts cartridge-based dispensing system. The kiosk has a clamshell door that opens to reveal the product cartridge. The cartridge contains select SKUs, items ranging from a perfume sample to a smart phone.  

Inside the cartridge are unique hooks where products hang, using a tab attached to the package.  The tabs are made out of a Tyvek-like material that has certain important characteristics.  It's very difficult to rip or tear.  So, once the product is put in its slot, it's going to stay there.  However, it melts very easily.  So, when a purchase is made, the patented system pulses the hook with heat, melts through the tab, and the product drops into the dispensing bin.  It’s a simple, cost-effective solution that replaces the complex machinery of traditional vending machines.  

VIGIX has also streamlined replenishment. A third-party delivery service, such as UPS, picks up the cartridges at a distribution center and brings them to the vending kiosk.  An RFID reader in the kiosk reads the RFID tag in the product cartridge and unlocks the door- no key needed- to allow access to the depleted cartridge inside.  The cartridge that comes out of the kiosk is put in the shipping box and then sent back.

With a 3-D capable screen at the top of the VIGIX kiosk, it’s the ultimate customer engagement platform that incorporates digital signage in conjunction with couponing, e-mail capture, audience measurement and dispensing of a physical product or sample – all in one platform. 

Intel® AIM Suite-enabled

Intel AIM Suite enables VIGIX to track the number of people who had an opportunity to see the kiosk screen, the number of people who interacted with the kiosk, their age range and gender, what they watched and for how long.  When you combine AIM Suite data with e-mail capture (in exchange for a coupon or sample) and the ability to track purchases within a closed system, VIGIX clients gain a wealth of demographic and behavioral data that help them calculate and improve ROI, optimize kiosk locations and program on-screen content that attracts viewers and drives purchases.  

"For marketers, this is a dream come true. To get this type of information is phenomenal.  With AIM Suite, we now have metrics for the upper screen that we can share with customers.  How many people walk by the kiosk? What percentage actually stopped and looked? What’s their gender and age range? Combine that with our ability to track purchase decisions and, in many cases, capture email addresses – there’s an unprecedented wealth of actionable intelligence.  AIM Suite rounds out the full array of service and functionality that we provide."Stephen Pytka, CEO, VIGIX

The Results 

Initially, VIGIX focused on automated retail, but they quickly discovered additional opportunities for customer engagement including dispensing samples.  Sampling, in particular, has previously been an expensive, labor-intensive process with no objective means of audience measurement.  The VIGIX Kiosk makes sampling campaigns simple, automatic and cost-effective.   

Sampling:

VIGIX kiosks have been deployed in grocery stores offering samples of consumer products sold in the stores.  Consumer response has been extremely positive, with shoppers trying two or three different items and returning to the kiosk week after week to see what’s new.  For the grocer, the kiosks have helped raise awareness and generate more trials of profitable products they sell.

Couponing:

The VIGIX kiosk is currently being deployed as a digital welcome center for a major retailer, with an initial roll-out in California, and a projected deployment of over 4,500 units. As customers walk into the front door, they see a 3-D screen and hear audio from a directional speaker that pulls shoppers to the kiosk’s couponing feature.

Product Sales:

On the product side, VIGIX is dispensing bag tags for Qantas at airports in Australia.  This RFID-equipped tag is permanently affixed to a traveler’s luggage. So, when you check into the airport you weigh your bag yourself, at a weigh station, and then, it's programmed to go wherever you're going. You just bring it to the carousel, and off it goes.  

While you can purchase these RFID bag tags via the internet and wait for them to arrive, Qantas offers a more immediate option: purchase at the airport through a VIIGIX kiosk, at the exact point of need.  

Summary

VIGIX has created an innovative solution for product, sample and coupon dispensing that’s truly a game changer.  Efficient, automated, easy to maintain and refill – it’s a compelling proposition.. Enabled by Intel® AIM Suite, the VIGIX kiosk provides the deep customer intelligence marketers need in order to make informed decisions and achieve their business objectives.

Questions? AIM Suite Knowledge Base