Founder Dawn Dickson, a serial entrepreneur who launched four successful cash flow positive companies since 2001, including the well-publicized company Flat Out of Heels, realized that there was a huge problem in the market when it came to customer data and kiosks. There are over 120 million Americans using vending machines and kiosks daily to make their lives easier with more than 8 million machines in the market and only 1 million of them are considered smart.
So what does that mean exactly? Well, the machines are consuming no customer data according to Dickson. After selling over 10,000 shoes with Flat Out of Heels, Dawn had zero data on the customers, making it a 100% missed opportunity to bring them into her sales funnel.
When selling a product, it is massively important for retailers to understand customer data. They know what customers like, what they don’t like, and that way, it is easy to retarget and get the customer specifically what they need. Without this data, a business is pretty much blind.
“Data is so important for retail. It helps you understand who your customers are, target them, and what products to sell. I mean, can you imagine running a business without customer data?” said Dickson. “This is why I started PopCom.”
Dickson and her team developed a software solution to make automated retailing smart by collecting customer data at the point of sale. “We collect their age, gender, their engagement and finally get their email address to bring them into the sales funnel and collect data that really matters.”
So how are they doing this? Through anonymized facial recognition cameras located on the kiosk and on the vending machines, but what is the code of ethics behind this? Dickson states that they do not take the customers identity without their permission. “The customer is given the option to opt-in during their transaction.”
The company recently raised $1 million to bring this technology fully to market with the goal of making all self-service vending machines and kiosks smarter.