Vending Machines and Gen Z: How to Appeal to Young Customers

Remote Vending Machine Monitoring

Businesses that aren’t thinking about how Gen Z uses their vending machines are about to have a hard time.

According to a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, 90% of respondents used unattended retail more during the pandemic. And younger consumers (18-34) were the most likely to increase usage during that period (23%). In other words, businesses in the vending industry should pay close attention to the habits and trends among their younger clients.

While vending machine operators might make their product assortment varied and healthy to suit the demands of health-conscious Millennials and Gen Z, they often fail to provide flexible payment options. If your machine only accepts cash, you risk losing clientele.

In this article, you will learn how cashless and mobile payments for vending machines can help you attract and retain younger clients. 

Who is Generation Z, and why are they important?

When you’re targeting a specific demographic, age is essential to consider. Sociologists believe that different age groups, or generations, have their own particular habits regarding practically everything, including payment. Today, we will concentrate on Generation Z, also known as the youngest generation that has money of its own and can make purchases.

Generation Z is a demographic group that describes people born between the late 1990s and early 2000s. They are comfortable with digital technologies and the virtual world, which manifests in how they buy.

To understand how important it is to suit Gen Z’s needs, let’s look at some numbers.

  • Zoomers are expected to make up 20% of the US population by 2022, or about 68.2 million people aged 9 to 24. This makes Gen Z the third-largest cohort of consumers who are also called ‘informed consumers’.
  • The same is also true for Europe, for example, out of the approximately 66.8 million people in the UK, 12.6 million people (18.8%) belong to Generation Z.
  • Globally, Gen Z is reported to be the most active consumers based on the average number of transactions.

Zoomers want the best customer experience and are always looking for the best deals. Moreover, they also actively share their opinions on the internet — both good and bad. Building a good relationship with Zoomers is crucial if you don’t want your business to get canceled on the internet.

How to make your vending machine more young people-friendly?

There are two main ways you can improve the user experience of your vending machines to make them more attractive for Generation Z and beyond.

Cashless payments

Data says that from 2011 to 2019, the number of  cashless payment transactions in the European Union member states increased year on year. If in 2014 the number of cashless transactions amounted to 114 billion, in 2019 it had already risen to 152 billion, and the number continued to grow during the pandemic. Providing your vending machines with credit card readers will make them more appealing for Zoomers – and other generations, too — 42% of people in Europe prefer to pay with credit cards.

Vendon is the leading provider of contactless payments hardware and software in Europe. Our affordable contactless solutions can offer your clients a faster and more hygienic way to pay, which has been in high demand since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mobile payments

Mobile payments are a type of cashless payment where users can tap on (or hover over) the terminal on their phone instead of a credit card. About 44% of people in Europe named mobile digital wallets such as Google Pay and Apple Pay as their preferred payment methods.

As the first digitally native population, Gen Z uses mobile payments more than any previous generation — 98% of them own a smartphone. Young people might not carry cash or credit cards, but smartphones are always in their hands.

Moreover, according to a survey, about 50% of the respondents from the United Kingdom, Austria, and France indicated they had used Apple Pay in a store or restaurant in 2021. Google Pay, Venmo, and other mobile wallets are also growing in popularity. So if you don’t want to lose potential customers and revenue, mobile payments are essential to implement.

Summing up

Generation Z is an important cohort of clients representing a large share of your client base. If you want to build a solid relationship with Zoomers, it’s essential to appeal to them with flexible payment options. You can achieve this by installing credit card and mobile wallet readers that provide your clients with a simple and secure way to pay.

Vendon allows you to accept cashless and mobile payments to please your customers of any age. Our cashless readers that accept multiple payment methods, including Google Pay and Apple Pay are compatible with more than 45 different manufacturers and take mere minutes to install. Learn more


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