Azerbaijan is a maiden market for vending business
The contemporary vending industry, implying a retail trade of goods and services through ATMs, which has been long and largely spread worldwide, seems to pass by Azerbaijan, like many other post-Soviet countries. To imagine the scales of this easy at first glance business it would be enough to look at figures: annual amount of sales via ATMs worldwide constitutes roughly $150 billion, with over $37 billion (26 billion euro) accounting to Europe, over $45 billion to the US and over $50 billion to Japan.
Taking into account the contemporary trends, when a rhythm of the live intensifies when people hold much of their time out of home and try to build their day maximally rationally to be in time, the vending industry offers them an opportunity saving time, swift and quiet service, releases a necessity for standing in a queue, 24-hour a day access, in clean and hygienic fashion.
The elder people well remember the 1960s-1970s, when it was possible to drink a cup of beer or a bottle of vegetable oil by throwing several coins into the ATMs. Many people can recall the purchase of carbonated water in the streets of Baku. Today, hundreds types of goods of the "Geffen goods" are sold via trading ATMs worldwide. They are goods of permanent demand, ranging from different drinks, juice, and hot food to personal hygiene things, newspapers and magazines, ozone air and gold ingots. Different countries have own priorities. For instance, purchase of cools drinks and sweets takes lead in the U.S., whereas Europe prefers hot coffee.
The important element for vending business is to define more available place to install the ATMs. For instance, they are mostly placed at enterprises offices and education places in the U.S. these ATMs are mostly placed in the U.S. and Japan - 6 million each, in Europe - over 4 million. Twenty-two countries of Europe ban trading tobacco products via ATMs and some countries alcohol drinks.
Vending business is related to a category of small and medium-scale business. It is rather frequently called family one in the west, because many families taking into account numerous positive peculiarities of this business, invest capital in this field. It really has many positives, and they serious enough: this is absence of necessity for special professional skills and hiring employees, minimal starting capital, high profitability (in accordance with different data, average income per hour comprises $50-70 in countries with increased automated trading system), swift payback (from several months to 1.5-2 years), minimal applicable overhead expenses, as well as minimum red-tape procedures while registering, absence of licensed payments, absence of necessity for storages and at least, free time the entrepreneur has so that to get involved in other businesses. Trade ATMs of the last generation with installed wireless modems can be connected to Internet, because their technical state and filling can be well observed without going out.
Americans calculated that each seven of ten men in the United States purchase goods from different trading ATMs every day and in average, $126 million is thrown into the ATMs everyday.
Prospects for Azerbaijani market
Let's imagine the total profitability of the market in Azerbaijan. We will view people aged between 14 to 30 years in this respect. Namely they will actively use this method of purchasing goods and services while having minimally necessary amount of ATMs. They comprise one third part of the total amount of population, exactly three million. However, there also exist people aged between 30 and 50, part of which will more probably use ATOM trading. There are children aged under 14, whom parents frequently give coins for different sweets. There pensioners who like to read newspaper in their leisure. Uniting these categories, let's add 500,000 and have a figure equal to 3.5 million. Now to minimize possible risks and make the situation more predictable, let's deduct 1 million. Now we are having the final output - 2.5 million active consumers. Let's imagine, each of them spends 1 manat on average ($1.25). To go on with calculation based on the number of days, for more confidence let's take 300 days a year, instead of 365 as normal, when the virtual consumers do purchases by ATMs. Multiplying all three figures will have a figure equal to $1 billion. Even if the expenses for filling and technical service to vehicles comprise part of his sum, still we have a modest income, and it becomes clear that the game is worth the candle.
Like in many countries worldwide, in the initial stage cool and hot drinks, food, fruits, juice, potato chips, pop-corn, newspapers and magazines, hygiene products (soap, wet napkins, preservatives), beer and cigarettes are probable to enjoy high demand. There evolves question with respect the last two. How to manage with minor buyers? If the legislation bans selling cigarettes and alcohol them in the shop, how to do it by ATMs?
For instance, a person buying cigarettes via ATM should produce his ID card in Japan. Electronic identifier of cars scans the image and age data from the presenter. The ATM allows the purchase if there is no fraud.
According to media reports, the first vending devices - photo and Internet-kiosks - will be installed and commissioned in public places, education establishments, business centers, waiting rooms and ports in 2010 to render relevant services.