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Using data to offer smart discounts and minimize waste

In today’s digital age, instant and remote access to the inventory and pricing of vending machines is a game-changer. This capability allows both people and automated systems to quickly understand which products are selling and which aren’t. This is particularly important in a world where a staggering one-third of all food is wasted every year, and the problem is even worse for fresh items. Nobody wants a high-quality, fresh product to go to waste, so having this real-time insight can make all the difference. In this blog post we will delve into how smart discounting and expiry date management can help reduce food waste in intelligent vending machines.

1. How to avoid expired food products?

There are two key strategies operators can use to help prevent products from expiring:

  • Forecasting demand: Using past sales data, we can predict future demand. This insight lets the business owner stock the right amount and type of products. By analyzing trends, including seasonal changes, businesses can anticipate sales and ensure machines are filled appropriately.
  • Adjusting to sales patterns: If actual sales don’t match the predictions, actions are needed. Selling out stock early will disappoint customers. But selling too little? That risks waste. One effective solution is to offer timely discounts to boost sales and prevent waste.

2. Selfly Store’s discounting tool

Selfly Store boasts a dynamic discount feature embraced by many of our customers. Two popular discount types are:

  • Scheduled discounts: These encourage specific behaviors, like making early morning purchases or buying items before the weekend.
  • Expiry-driven discounts: As products near their expiry dates, they automatically receive discounts. These deals are prominently displayed on the screen of the vending machine, catching the customer’s attention. Good to remember is that expiry date management in modern vending machines is enabled by RFID technology. The RFID tags placed on products allow business owners to uniquely track every individual item in the machine.
Vending machine management

Picture 1: Example of discount settings and rules in the Selfly Cloud.

3. How discounts are used by Selfly Store’s customers

Our savvy customers often use a mix of discounts, tailored to each vending machine’s location and customer preferences. For Selfly Store’s most proactive customers, discounted items can make up about 10% of their total sales. By using discounts effectively, some have reduced waste by over 30%. Beyond just boosting sales, these strategies reinforce a commitment to sustainability and profitability.

Vending machine inventory tracker

Picture 2: Example charts from the Selfly Cloud showing sales with discounts, in this case also benchmarking between merchants in the same segment over a chosen time period.


By harnessing the power of data and smart discounting, we’re not just selling more; we’re doing it responsibly. The Selfly Store is dedicated to helping customers maximize profits while minimizing waste.

Read the other blogs in the series here: