Vending Machine in Hong Kong is known as automatic selling machine (自動售賣機). Majorities of the vending machine are placed in the public, with some in the shopping centers and schools. Most are stocked with food and drinks, umbrellas, cosmetics, cases and accessories for mobile phones. The Hong Kong Post also has vending machine for selling stamps.
The vending machine in Hong Kong allow the customer to pay by cash, credit cards and Octopus cards, a type of smart card.
Due to high labor cost and limited space, vending machine have been introduced to Hong Kong. Convenient to use, cheap to set up and easy to maintain are some of the key advantages of vending machine. There is no need to hire someone to man them and they work 24/7 without any complain! Also, customers can buy ‘necessities’ without having to walk to nearby convenience store (that may not be very ‘convenient’ in the first place) only to realise it’s ‘CLOSED’!
The cost advantage is particularly obvious in Hong Kong. For instance, renting a vending machine slot in an MTR station often costs even less than placing an ad there, according to an RTHK report.
By installing a vending machine, you can both advertise your product and use it as a sales point. That’s why it’s such a great deal and large companies such as Coca-Cola and Vitasoy have placed many vending machines in Hong Kong.
The most important decision in the vending machine business is picking the location. Traffic is the paramount consideration.
Some companies have used vending machine as part of their promotion campaign.
For example, Colgate Hong Kong has set up vending machines in shopping malls. After inserting a HK$1 coin, the participant receives a green apple, a toothpaste and a leaflet containing a quiz about bleeding gums.
The HK$1 proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and promoters armed with tablets encourage participants to answer questions in the quiz and recommending products based on how severe their gum bleeding is, as reflected by the quiz.
Participants can also share that they have taken the quiz on Facebook to receive a free toothbrush.
The vending machines are placed from two days to a week at 12 shopping malls across Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Territories. These malls were chosen to target middle class Hong Kong families.
A branded video is also played on a screen attached to the vending machine.