Since May 1, travellers and visitors to the KLIA have been greeted by seven visually-stunning and sophisticated machines at various strategic locations in the complex that make shopping easier, faster and instantaneous.
Called automated stores, these are the products of local start-up Eye Port Sdn Bhd which conceptualises the design and technology know-how of these machines under its Trendy County multi-channel retail platform.
“What set the automated store apart from the regular insert cash-press-dispense machine are its large touch-swipe-tap display screen, augmented reality (AR) feature and social media connectivity,” says Eye Port managing director Jasvinder Singh.
“If you can swipe and tap on a smartphone or tablet, you can buy from our automated stores. It is just as easy. What’s even better is that all the products are displayed as they are and as soon as payment is made, they are dropped into the compartment below, you pick it up and go. What you see is what you get. No waiting, no fuss,” he adds.
Products available are smartphone accessories such as charging cables, power banks, surge protectors, USB flash drives, batteries, earphones, laser keyboards, action cameras and wireless chargers, beauty and fashion items such as sunglasses and contact lenses and even Lego figurines LED light key chains for the young travellers. Prices of the products sold range from RM10 to RM299.
“These are popular items among travellers and Trendy County automated stores make it so easy and convenient for them to get quality products at reasonable prices. For example, our power banks cost between RM 29 and RM169 while cables are priced from RM25,” says Jasvinder.
Customers get to have some fun with the augmented reality (AR) feature where they can try out sunglasses in virtual reality, see their new look and even share that look on their Facebook through the Trendy County automated store.
This AR feature on Trendy County’s automated store has earned it a spot on The Malaysia Book of Records as the first 3D-enabled virtual vending machine on January 7, 2016.
Trendy County automated stores are changing the common perception that vending machines sell only basic products of lower price range due to the machines’ limited functionalities. The automated stores are not only custom-built for size and types of products sold, they also operate on customised software.
“That is why our automated stores can offer a wider range of products with higher values and different sizes,” says Jasvinder, adding that Belkin, Sony, Sandisk, Yale and Panasonic are among the established brands available.
Collectors will be delighted to know that Lego LED keychain light of the limited edition Star Wars and DC Comics Super Heroes series are available from these automated stores. Toys from Mattel and Lego figurines are on the menu too.
Trendy County automated stores also offer Panasonic beauty products such as electric shavers and beard trimmers for men and epilators for women, the first of self-serving stores to do so.
“We made sure that only reliable products are made available and at reasonable prices too. Our gadgets come with minimum of six months warranty, something you won't get from other machines.”
While self-serving kiosks and vending machines are not new in the market, Jasvinder is confident Trendy County's unique automated stores will spark a new trend in retail, adding colour and life to KLIA as an international hub.
We have a real customer service team, picking up and answering phone calls, providing solutions 9am-6pm Monday-Friday, and you are ensured of an email response within three hours during weekends. We also have a 3-hour response time for feedback on social media. This is where Trendy County stands out, says Jasvinder.
“KLIA offers an exciting shopping experience and we would like to enhance that retail experience by providing a brand new platform that caters to travelers and visitors alike. We are working to add more variety and locations in the near future,” he adds.
Trendy County installed its first automated store in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in August 2015.
Now it has seven - four in the Main Terminal Building (Main Entrance Gate 3, after check-in counters E-F adjacent to CIMB, after check-in counters F-G same as row as Café Barbera and after check-in counters K-L next to McDonalds), one in contact pier (domestic departure gate, next to Transfer Desk) and two in the Satellite Building (South Zone, before Gate C31, facing Braun Buffel and North Zone before Gate C11, facing Khazanah).
Apart from KLIA, Trendy County Automated Stores are also operating in Taylor's University, Subang Airport and the Immigration Complex in Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur (one each). Plans are underway to install the automated stores in strategic locations in downtown Kuala Lumpur and others transportation hubs.
Other platforms under Trendy County are web-based online shopping scheduled to be relaunched in July and QR (Quick Response) shopping in September.