Lottery has long been considered an impulse purchase category. When paying for an unrelated item at a convenience or grocery store, shoppers routinely spot eye-catching instant tickets, like games featuring Pollard Banknote’s proprietary Scratch FX® innovation or a dazzling POS display showcasing a favorite licensed brand. After completing their original purchase at a multi-lane retailer, they make a special trip to a separate customer-service counter to buy the ticket(s) that captured their attention.
But the retail landscape is evolving. While approximately 70% of U.S. lottery sales are made at convenience stores, including those attached to gas stations, the popularity of easier and faster transactions, like paying at the pump, is growing. Today, less than half of customers actually enter the store after gassing up their vehicles.
The second-largest retailer type for lottery sales is grocery, which accounts for sales of just 15.5% and 13% in the U.S. and Canada, respectively. Considering the impulse nature of lottery purchases and the customer demand for convenience, requiring a separate transaction at a lottery counter means grocery stores are not achieving their full potential in the lottery category.
As the future unfolds, self-checkout options will become increasingly compelling as staffing remains challenging and convenience continues to influence purchase behaviors. With new advancements like walk-out technology, which eliminates cashiers and lineups, the retail landscape is changing in ways that require equally fresh approaches when selling impulse items. The lottery industry must diversify its merchandising strategies to meet the shifting expectations at retail.
Diversification of Merchandising Strategies
Diversification can mean new digital channels and/or new retailers, but it can also mean introducing new sales avenues at current retail locations. Adding these sales channels to existing in-lane or self-serve checkouts in grocery and other multi-lane environments will help optimize sales opportunities while providing a more streamlined experience for consumers and retailers.
Pollard Banknote’s easyVEND™ solution is the ideal answer, securely getting instant tickets into traditional and self-serve checkout lanes of multi-lane retailers. Customers will love the ability to add lottery tickets to a single transaction, even when scanning other items themselves, while retailers’ biggest friction points—shrinkage, administrative tasks, and balancing—are equally alleviated by easyVEND™. It’s a win-win solution set to revolutionize the way lottery products are bought and sold.
How Does It Work?
A menu board at checkout lets customers know they can include instant tickets with their other grocery purchases in a single transaction. The consumer identifies which tickets they want to buy alongside their other items, and the cashier enters the selection and completes age verification. When payment is complete, the cashier confirms the purchase via the easyVEND™ controller screen, and the tickets are securely dispensed. This solution seamlessly integrates with existing POS systems once user-friendly digital technology is added to control the dispenser. Even when scanning their own purchases, customers can now add lottery tickets to this single transaction.
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Additional Benefits to Lotteries and Retailers
Pollard Banknote’s easyVEND™ solution offers the flexibility and modularity to accommodate multiple types of retailers and the spaces they have available. Tickets are stored in a secure dispenser within reach of the retail clerk, only dispensing once the purchase transaction is complete.
The solution also allows for multiple cashiers to share one dispensing unit, making it suited to store layouts with several registers/cashiers on one continuous counter (the typical setup in dollar stores, for example). This flexibility, enabled by easyVEND™ technology, opens the door for use in self-checkout spaces.
Ultimately, retailers have many reasons to be excited by the prospect of earning incremental revenue from this newest sales channel.
A Vision for Tomorrow
Pollard Banknote has enjoyed an enduring and successful history of developing amazing instant games for the lottery industry; however, the past decade has seen the company embark on an intentional and strategic expansion path that focuses on three key industry pillars: outstanding games, retail excellence, and digital innovation. easyVEND™ presents a solution that intersects and addresses all three pillars in ways sure to draw attention from consumers and retailers alike.
As a partner of choice, Pollard Banknote is ready to support lotteries every step of the way with their easyVEND™ installations to ensure lasting success, from initial sales and marketing elements to post-installation advice and service.