Retail

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Shop around the clock with the new dispenser

Customers’ requirements do not respect opening hours

After-work shopping is fully on-trend, particularly at the weekend. Catching shoppers on Saturdays and Sundays and from 6pm to midnight used to be reserved for online retail, but that’s not the case any more. Official opening hours are no longer an obstacle to making sales; with the new 24/7 dispenser from Wanzl, shopping is now possible around the clock.

Combi City in Oldenburg

Effective protection

Avoiding inventory discrepancies, securing revenue

Experience 24/7 shopping with a dispenser

Shopping 365 days a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day used to only be possible online. But then of course, shoppers have to wait for goods had to be delivered. The new dispenser means that shopping is possible at any time of the day or night, with the advantage that the items are also immediately available. This makes it the optimum solution for an even greater service offering from supermarkets to expand small shop floors or for basic supplies in rural areas – that’s a win for everyone involved. Customers can shop at all hours, and bricks-and-mortar retail stores can sell 24/7.

Dispenser with incredible flexibility

Surely a machine like this one takes up a lot of space? As a fresh goods retailer, is it worth my while to get one? It only has room for a few tins and snacks, right? Reasonable questions, all with simple answers: no, yes, and no. In fact, hardly any more solution is more flexible than the dispenser. It fits perfectly into almost any store and is also impressive as a standalone solution. It can be retroactively integrated into a shop floor, and is certainly worth more than a passing thought for a new-build project. But what makes it so incredibly flexible?

  • Customer specificity: both the length and height of the dispenser are scalable. If needed, it can be connected with adjoining storage, cellar, or upper-floor rooms by means of a dispensing compartment in the sales area.
  • Use in any sector: whether food, fashion, pharmacy, or non-food, the dispenser is suitable for all sectors within bricks-and-mortar retail. A range of temperature zones in its interior enables even packaged fresh goods or products that require cooling to be easily offered.
  • High performance: strictly speaking, the dispenser is more than just a machine. It is an automated mini store – just not one that you can walk into. Nonetheless, depending on the size of the packaging units it can house up to 15,000 items.

Systematised chaos – partly automated warehousing

It’s so easy to fill the machine – all you need is an employee, the machine, and of course the items to be placed in it. First, an item is scanned either manually or automatically using a 360° scanner. Then, it travels along a conveyor belt into the interior of the machine, where the order picking robot is waiting. It uses a gripper arm to pick the goods and automatically place them into an available compartment. It does this for one product after another. Employees place pressure-sensitive or difficult-to-grip items on plastic trays to protect them. The sequence doesn’t matter in the slightest – the principle of chaotic storage is what makes it possible. Fast-selling items are positioned next to less popular ones, even sharing the same compartments. The principle for this is that all the product characteristics that matter – such as the need for cooling or protection of children – are registered during scanning and taken care of by the middleware. In addition, the goods are thereby automatically stored in the merchandise management system of the store or dispenser. For what purpose? To support permanent, automatic inventory and to monitor “best before” dates. If stocks are running short, the store manager is notified, so employees and order picking robots should get themselves ready...

Choose, pay, take! Quick and easy operation

Step 1: choose
Customers are greeted by a rich-display 27-inch touchscreen – a screen that no smartphone can match. With the tap of a finger, the customer selects their items and quantities. Preset categories, classification criteria such as price, name, popularity, and filters, make the search and selection process easier. For example, if food containing certain allergens should not appear on the screen at all, it can be easily hidden using the right filter. When it comes to age-restricted products such as alcohol and cigarettes, trust is good but control is better. Anyone who wants to buy these products must first pass the age check using their ID card.

Step 2: pay
Take out an EC or credit card, pay using the card scanner or via NFC (Near-Field Communication), and you’re done. And of course a receipt is also available on request.    

Step 3: take
Once payment has been made, the commissioning robot gets going. The items are with the customer in seconds. The ordered goods are taken from their compartments by a gripper arm and placed on a conveyor belt that leads to the goods output area on the sales floor. From there, the fully automated order picking process can be tracked live using a viewing window. 

Optimise your vending unit

It’s only performance that counts. That’s why there are various options for optimising the dispenser. A second gripper arm accelerates filling and output. Integration into the store’s online shop enables click-and-collect shopping. The integration of online payment services makes payment even easier. The screen displays advertising videos or information on current offers to further encourage impulse buys during the order picking process. Alternatively customers can be asked to complete a virtual questionnaire about which products they would like to see in the dispenser range. Somehow or other, there’s always room to make improvements.

Quick facts about the dispenser

  • Scalable dimensions
    Length: 8.11 m – 21.20 m
    Height 2.00 m – 3.65 m
    Width: 1.85 m
  • Refrigeration system makes it suitable for any sector
  • Partly automated placement into storage
  • Fully automated operation and output process
  • Storage of up to 15,000 items (depending on the size and range)
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