Coca-Cola Tests Wi-Fi Vending Machines for Increased Smartphone Engagement

Posted by GPShopper Press Coverage on Oct 15, 2014 9:41:00 AM
Coca-Cola_Vending_Machine
Mobile Marketing article
Written by Chantal Tode

Coca-Cola is availing itself of the growing trend toward Wi-Fi use by smartphone owners with a new strategy to enable wireless connectivity through its branded vending machines. 

The Wi-Fi-enabled vending machines are being tested by Coca-Cola and British Telecom in two communities in South Africa. The strategy is the latest example of how Coca-Cola continues to lead the way in mobile marketing by coming up with clever ways to tie its brand to consumers’ love of their smartphones. 

“This is a really interesting idea and a great example of ‘the Internet of things,' or in this case – a thing providing Internet,” said David Kovacs, vice president of business development at GPShopper, noting that from a brand marketing perspective we have seen this before - think AT&T sponsoring Wi-Fi at Starbucks locations. 

David
"Providing Wi-Fi at supermarkets or gas stations would be an effective promotional tool for the Coca-Cola brand,” he said. “It also doesn’t hurt that in order for a customer to access Wi-Fi, they would need to be in proximity of a Coca-Cola vending machine.”

Real-world experiences
Coca-Cola’s Wi-Fi enabled vending machines are the latest example of the brand marketer is leveraging mobile for unique real-world engagements. 

This spring, Coca-Cola Australia began testing a new type of interactive fridge that leverages augmented reality, facial recognition, social media and mobile to dole out relevant offers and content to specific consumers in-store (see story). 
Coca-Cola_Wi-Fi_Vending_Machines
Also, this summer, Coca-Cola equipped its World of Coca-Cola attraction with beacons that work with a new mobile application for unlocking location-based content around specific areas (see story). 

Brand interest in sponsoring Wi-Fi access could open up some interesting marketing opportunities. 

“As we continue to see the rapid growth of mobile, Wi-Fi access, or lack thereof, continues to be a pain point for customers, and this consumer problem presents an interesting opportunity for retailers and brands,” Mr. Kovacs said. 

“Currently, while customers want access, many retailers are concerned about the strain that offering Wi-Fi will put on their network, in addition to security implications,” he said. “But the way in which Coca-Cola is approaching the solution is smart. If retailers can partner with brands such as Coca-Cola to sponsor customer Wi-Fi access without even touching the retailers’ infrastructure, this will open the door to many impactful marketing opportunities.”

Read the entire article in Mobile Marketer

Topics: Beacons, Mobile Marketing, Press, Omnichannel Retail

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