Technology

Selfly Store’s intelligent vending machines, operating on RFID technology and always connected to the Selfly Cloud, provide a wealth of data. The data enable merchants to delight their consumers with unique shopping experiences and form the foundation for accurate decision making.

RFID is at the heart of the Selfly Store solution

To ensure reliable operations of unattended retail services, accurate item-level and real-time data is needed. RFID (radio frequency identification) can cater to this objective, why RFID is used at the heart of our solution to bring intelligence to it. From well over 1000 hours of testing, and decades of RFID experience, we are confident we bring the best-in-class item-level detection to the market. Read more about RFID here.

The Selfly Cloud provides real-time data and analytics to optimise sales and operations

Analytics and reporting

By utilising RFID and other cabinet data, all merchants have access to a 360-view of their intelligent vending machine business. Data is collected and visualised in the Selfly Cloud to aid merchants to optimise sales and operations. A wide range of analytical reports are available just a few clicks away – from detailed sales transactions, real-time inventory statuses, refilling records, lists of expiring products, to food waste levels and best-selling products. By utilizing the data and reports in the Selfly Cloud, business owners can for example forecast sales demand, inventory replenishment needs, and food production more accurately. In addition to above, maintenance visits can be scheduled timely and cost-effectively based on real-time cabinet health status.

Dynamic pricing and discounts

Merchants can use dynamic pricing, prescheduled and automatic discount rules, as well as screen advertisements from the Selfly Cloud. By leveraging these e-commerce tactics, merchants can remotely enable effective location-based marketing activities for individual machines or for their entire cabinet fleet.  

Iso_article_hero

Expiry date management

Thanks to the RFID solution, one unique feature of the Selfly Store solution is its ability to monitor the expiry dates of each food product in an automated manner. Business owners can easily identify expiring food items at each location remotely. 

Detailed reports including a list of expiring foods, locations where expired foods exist, monthly food waste reports, and top products resulting in food waste are at the merchant’s disposal. They can set up a discount logic on expiring food packages and display promotional messages to advertise their special offers on soon-to-be expired food items to increase targeted sales before the food items go to waste. 

Moreover, if food is expired over the weekend, business owners can also lock the cabinets remotely to prevent consumers from accidentally purchasing expired food, thus, preventing bad customer experiences. 

 

Technology considerations

Selfly Store’s solution is a disruptor in the vending industry, enabling enhanced consumer experiences and new opportunities for business owners to increase sales. Selfly Store is the Tesla of the vending industry, where our vision is not to provide something incrementally better than a traditional vending machine, but a solution which changes the entire game of how vending business can be done.  

Traditional vending

Assortment limitations

Products must fit into dispense slots and withstand falling down, which leads to static product selection.

Products get stuck

Stuck products in the dispense slots means angry customers and lost sales while waiting for repair.

Limited telemetry

Merchants don’t know what sells and when to refill machines due to lack for data and analytics.

Static prices

Changing prices requires an operator to manually configure new prices on every machine.

Old fashioned payment methods

Many machines still operate with coins or bills.

Not customer friendly

Slow purchasing experience which only allows the consumer to purchase one item at a time. Customers on average buy 1 item.

Low revenue

Average basket size per consumer is 1,7 €/ transaction, and the yearly turnover on average 5 k€.

Selfly Store intelligent vending

Wide assortment

Any product can go into the cabinets, since it doesn’t depend on dispense slots.

Self-service

Consumers open the door and grab what they desire after tapping their card or digital wallet on the payment terminal.

Data to sell more

Merchants can manage the cabinet remotely, knowing exactly what needs to be refilled and when. Moreover, the Selfly Cloud can be integrated with other apps or ERPs.

Dynamic prices

Prices can be changed remotely. E.g., automatic discounts on expiring items to reduce waste.

Contactless payment

Accepting card and mobile payment.

Enhanced customer experience

Customers quickly grab-and-go. +20% of customers buy more than one item.

High revenue

Average basket size per consumer is 4.5 – 6.9 €/transaction and between 1300 -2800 € per month and cabinet.

Other intelligent vending technologies

In addition to RFID, there are several technologies on the market to enable intelligent grab-and-go shopping. Examples include scale-based systems, camera vision, and trust-based systems, where consumers are expected to scan and pay for purchased items themselves.     

Characteristics of other technologies

Scale systems

  • Frequent calibration of weight sensors, leading to static product selection
  • Difficult with accuracy for products that may be produced manually and come in varying weights each day
  • Does not support item-level data or sales features 

Camera vision systems

  • Expensive to install, maintain and repair
  • Potentially complex to train AI and adding new items
  • Difficult to recognize stacked items and when product density is high
  • Camera accuracy will be impacted by e.g. fog
  • Expiry date management requires a different solution

Trust-based systems

  • High risk of theft – cannot sell expensive items.
  • Manual work required to check inventory
  • Fairly quick and easy to operate as a merchant as it does not require calibration of scales or tagging

Characteristics of RFID technology

Advantages

  • Any product can be sold (no requirements on size and shape)
  • Product assortment can easily be changed at any time, and placement in the fridge doesn’t matter
  • Fit more products in the same size cabinet compared to other technologies
  • Real-time data on item level, which enables optimisation of sales and expiry date mgmt. to minimise waste
  • Theft-proof when using paper-based tags (when correctly attached) and pre-authorization methods

Challenges

  • Replenishment requires tagging and encoding of products. RFID is likely not the preferred option if item level detection isn’t important
  • Reading accuracy dependent on the operator’s tagging discipline and tag selection