The purchase path doesn't have to be simply transactional, and these companies are using creative methods like social-media activated vending machines to revamp and reward customers

Retail can and should be more than just a simple exchange, especially in such a crowded field. For customers, the entire process can be much more enjoyable when the purchase path is made more interactive and rewarding. With perks and bonuses, people keep coming back.

As brands figure out new ways to drive sales and engagement, innovators like Uber and Nissin are changing the way that consumers get their hands on products. From scannable labels to social media-driven vending machines, these companies are transforming the path to purchase with an experience gateway:

Coca-Cola
The beverage company’s summer campaign allows drinkers to scan an icon on their beverage of choice for an opportunity to win prizes. These include access to special events, concerts, movies and other benefits, making each step along the purchase path another opportunity to win something.

Uber x Hershey
Uber riders were given a special treat on Easter earlier this year. By scanning a designated QR code in  certain vehicles, riders were treated to a free sample of Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs and Cadbury Crème Eggs, courtesy of Hershey and Uber's exclusive in-car commerce partner Cargo, which is already upending the purchase path.

Nissin Foods
Customers could receive a free container of Cup Noodles earlier this year simply by posting on social media. A custom vending machine allowed hungry passersby to unlock the free food by taking a picture with the machine and posting it on Instagram with a specific hashtag. There were also other prizes inside, including video games.


Lead image: Elijah O'Donnell/Unsplash

Retail can and should be more than just a simple exchange, especially in such a crowded field. For customers, the entire process can be much more enjoyable when the purchase path is made more interactive and rewarding. With perks and bonuses, people keep coming back.

As brands figure out new ways to drive sales and engagement, innovators like Uber and Nissin are changing the way that consumers get their hands on products. From scannable labels to social media-driven vending machines, these companies are transforming the path to purchase with an experience gateway: