Automated Retail FAQ’s

Automated Retail (also called automatic retail or vending) is a form of merchandising products to consumers in a convenient, fun way through automated vending/dispensing machines. It makes “I see it. I want it. I have it!” possible. Long gone are the days where you could only buy chips and snacks from a machine. Now the options are limitless!

Hmmm….decreased overhead, lower employee expense, increased profit, flexibility, portability, to name a few. Optimal Station specializes in providing vending machines that offer the best form of delivery for your product and brand to the consumer, build brand loyalty, and increase profits by using our reliable equipment and software. Optimal’s custom machines can monitor your stock as well as change digital ads and pricing from wherever you are. Our expert technicians can install your machine and seamlessly integrate this to your network so you can be up and running quickly.

What type of products can be vended or dispensed?
Almost anything can be vended nowadays, from a business card to a laptop. Our machines are completely customizable and can be configured in a myriad of ways. We use a patented conveyor belt extracting system with elevator delivery so that anything you choose to vend can be delivered to the consumer without getting stuck and without breaking. Selecting the correct equipment is key to achieving success. Why re-invent the wheel when we can just adapt it to your needs!

There are many factors to consider. Will the location be within another business that is accommodating? Will there be enough foot traffic? Does your product speak for itself or does it need a salesperson? (P.S. We have static and video educational and advertising add-on equipment that can act as your salesperson.) We have many years of experience as owners/operators so we can help you evaluate your idea and come up with a great market strategy to move more product with the highest possible profit.

That will depend upon the items you will be vending as well as the model you select. If you tell us the size and shape of each product, we can estimate. However, if you send us packaging samples for testing, we can tell you exactly how many of each item you can fit at a time. We will even create a custom planogram and produce a demonstration video using your actual products! Seeing is believing, right?

Optimal Station machines can accept a variety of different methods of payment, including cash, coin, credit card, debit card, gift card, student ID badges, employee ID badges, EMV chip cards, mobile payment apps, QR codes, contactless, swipe,, tap/pay, and gameplay payments. If you can think of another payment type, we can probably figure that out too.

For sure! No need to kill the planet to have proof of purchase, right? Emailed receipts are trending because they’re not only earth-friendly, but who wants to carry around and store all those receipts?

For sure! No need to kill the planet to have proof of purchase, right? Emailed receipts are tYes, Optimal Station machines are equipped with a real-time management solution so operators can keep an eye on business from anywhere. Our online portal allows owners to track sales up to the second, set planograms, change advertising ads, change pricing, run reports, view out-of-stocks, create a pick-list, set alerts, etc. Want to reduce pricing to move a particular product faster for a specific period of time? No problem. Want to increase the prices on a product that’s moving too fast? We’ve got you. You won’t believe how easy and user-friendly our software is!rending because they’re not only earth-friendly, but who wants to carry around and store all those receipts?

Yes. Through the same log-in portal you can easily upload product images, videos, and descriptions directly to the machine from your own computer. Our amazing software makes it simple to drag-and-drop images and create online sale postings. It’s actually fun!

Good news! Our machines are equipped with patented, soft elevator delivery. This means that it is much less likely that an item will have any hesitation in dispensing, but if it does, the machine will keep trying and trying UNTIL the product is dispensed. It also means that you can vend even fragile items without fear of breakage. Regardless, we offer Guaranteed Vend, wherein a consumer is only charged upon completion of a successful vend.

Optimal Station offers full wrap branding, partial branding (e.g. logo labels) as well as branding via static and video ad screens.

Currently, we offer touch screens ranging from 10-inch to 42-inch, but if you can dream it, we can build it, so don’t be shy. We pride ourselves on innovation and the latest technology.

Optimal Station’s technician database is extensive. In the event that a technician is needed, Optimal Station will locate hardware technicians that are qualified to work on our machines. They will ensure your machine is up and running in a timely manner. For any software-related issues, we are on-call and can log in to your machine remotely to fix any issues. Want your staff trained to handle whatever comes up? We can train your staff on hardware and software, ensuring minimal downtime.

Our automated retail machines require 110 VAC 15 amps using a standard socket. Most of our machines will require an internet connection (either hard-wired, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or via a mobile hotspot).

No worries. Optimal handles all the custom crating and shipping. We manage all logistics, from our fabrication shop to the destination location. From your perspective, it will just magically show up on time and ready to install! An Optimal specialist can meet the machine(s), perform the installation, and train your staff on-site! This guarantees a great launch and helps staff get acquainted with the new business model. Once trained, you will have little downtime and will have the pride and satisfaction of having the machine(s) running smoothly 7 days a week.

Absolutely! We offer an optional cooling unit that allows programmable temperature from 34 º F to 54º F. We inject foam on all of the interior cabinet, assuring the best refrigeration while using lower power consumption.

We have machines of all sizes and shapes. Let us know your limitations and we’ll match you with a machine that meets your specifications.

Our social-media-activated software, combined with our state-of-the-art vending machines are a unique way to give rewards for data, market research, social engagement, and brand awareness. A socially activated vending machine makes a big impression during marketing campaigns, in-store sampling, and promotional giveaways. With our custom solutions, you can dispense anything from a business card to a champagne bottle. Want to take a step further? We have Stations designed exclusively for Event Marketing activations.

We call it the 1-2-5 warranty. 1 year head to toe, 2 years on the compressor (if applicable), and 5 years on the product extraction motors.

Certainly! We can customize a machine for your event or your pilot program. Perhaps you have a short-term retail sales opportunity or pop-up. Or maybe you have a trade show or convention where our event marketing Stations could provide that extra sizzle and excitement. Let us know what you have in mind and we will tailor a rental program for you.

No. Our machines are offered worldwide. We currently have machines in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Antigua, and the Bahamas.

Pricing varies on a number of factors, such as quantity and level of customization. Please contact us for a custom quote.