India and its ‘Kirana store’ (corner convenience store) culture dates long back. Over the years, this culture evolved us into the consumers Indians are today. A technology which is so popular in the US that people are willing to pay a price higher for a commodity from a vending machine than buying the same from a department store for a lower price, it failed to create the same craze amongst people in the Indian scenario. The main reasons for VMs not being popular in India are:
- False premise that VMs reduces job opportunities
In a consumer culture where people have a sense of belongingness and relation with their corner department store vendors, replacement of them by non-interacting machines creates a sense of betrayal and also makes another sector experience job loss because of machines, making it a repulsing idea for the vendors as well as the consumers.
2. Safety & Security of Cash Collection
Traditional VMs demand an individual to go and collect the money from these machines manually at the end of every day. The safety of this person who is carrying stacks of small bills from the machine is compromised.
3. Difficulties faced in cash handling
VMs don’t accept or recognise notes which might be having too many creases or are torn from the sides. This leads to failure I completion of a transaction and in many scenarios (Delhi Metro Rail Corporations) appointing of an official who stands next to these machines with spare notes which are accepted by the machine which ultimately adds to the cost of running a VM than reducing it. Another money issue that is faced by most consumers is that the VM doesn’t accept big bills (notes of 2000) because of the lack of change in the machines.
4. Time is taken for a transaction
A traditional vending machine accepts and vends only one order at a point of time which also takes almost 2 to 3 minutes. If a consumer needs more than two items from the VM he/she wastes up to 10 minutes in vending three items from a VM, which otherwise takes much less time from a grocery store. This makes it an unfavourable experience for the consumer and won’t lead to an increased number of transactions from a consumer and will even hamper repeated sales.
5. VM failure leading to loss of money
There have been many instances where the consumer feeds money into the machine and selects the item to be vended but because of either the coils being stuck or a technical glitch, the item doesn’t reach the collection box making the consumer lose out on cash and his desired commodity.