Getting Stuff without Getting Around

 2021-09-29 By: Elroy Yao

The current market; regardless of its form and format, must be something unfathomable to people from the past. After all, modern transport and preservation technologies have made it possible for resellers to provide customers with imported goods with quite the affordable price; far from the luxury it once was in the past. A lot of commodities that used to be exorbitant previously are now available everywhere with a price low enough that it is available to most of everyone. One might say the shortage of the past was more on the supply side rather than the demand; buyers would love to have them, but the low supply and high demand mean high prices are inevitable.

Contrast that with today where several types or brands of stores closed down because no one bought from them anymore; in short: a shortage of demand. Of course this is not a surprise with how terribly the pandemic has affected essentially everything negatively. Some stores now use a curbside pickup system to generate sales while others move to e-commerce instead, but the offerings might be limited only to items that can be found in the stores at any given moment.

For Alion, this gap is something that their solution: JaFun might be able to fill. Serving as a travel shopping platform for local Japanese souvenirs, JaFun cooperates with local specialty stores and supplier manufacturers. As an e-commerce platform, they can provide online tax free checkout and offline logistics; delivering the purchased products to an IoT smart cabinet. This service will be able to help 2 parties simultaneously: local stores which are usually reliant on direct purchase from travellers who cannot travel due to COVID as well as buyers who are interested in finding new and niche products.

As one would remember, the height of pandemic times also severely limit human presence in an enclosed location; complicating grocery shopping and resupply runs. Vending machines then would be a viable option to buy simple items whether packaged or fresh as simple items such as coffee, soft serve ice cream, etc.

While vending machines have existed for quite some time, Yallvend's solutions allow for multiple forms vending machines with multiple payment methods. While common vending machines allow for payment via cash, RFID pre-paid devices, or credit card; Yallvend VUK (Vending Upgrade Kit) enables conventional vending machines to operate E-payment and inventory systems. For coin operated machines, the Coin Machine Upgrade Kit (CUK) can connect machines to wi-fi to send real-time transaction data to the cloud system. Their other solution Kaba Pay also allows for multiple e-payment services and cloud integration for real-time transaction records.

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