The Coca Cola vending machine unusability

While it might works elsewhere in the world, in Indonesia vending machines like this one possesses customer experience disaster; which in turn severely limiting its usefulness, and finally convincing both users and the business that vending machine just doesn't work.

First, let's have a look at the User Experience disasters, based from the photo above:

  1. "No change provided," meaning users need to provide the EXACT amount of money.
  2. The item prices are Rp. 7,000 which means users must provide 1 piece of 5,000 rupiah banknote, plus 1 piece of 2,000 rupiah banknote or 2 pieces of 1,000 rupiah banknote since Bank of Indonesia doesn't issue a 7,000 rupiah banknote. While it seems like a still sensible request, let's check out the next requirements:
  3. "This machine will not accept folded, stapled, wet, torn, or faded notes." While wet and torn are very common (and logical) restriction, but who in Indonesia these days carried around a pristine, non-folded, not faded, not crumpled 5,000 and 2,000 rupiah bills? Being the banknotes with the least value in Indonesia, they are often resides in back pockets and changes pouch instead of straight long wallets. 
  4. Even though this machine allows multiple transactions, meaning you can purchases multiple items, you're still at the mercy of a pristine 2,000 and 1,000 rupiah banknote: 10,000 + 2x 2,000 for two; 2x 10,000 + 1,000 for three. But if you're into volume buying then there's a hypermarket right behind this vending machine with much better prices, and offers changes.
Since those using straight long wallets are mothers, or people wearing suits; but the last usually stores 100,000 rupiah in their wallets not the 1,000 rupiah banknote, so the most probable target market for this vending machine... are mothers. And while some mothers against their children (and their husband) drinking soft drinks; those who are not, usually don't really feel comfortable with trying out strange machine with all its technicalities and restrictions, out in the open.

And that left us with... people working in Banks, who eventually have an endless supply of pristine banknotes. But since they need to own a straight long wallet, and by habit puts small changes in it, so they got to be mothers too; and the vicious circle continued... 

How to overcome this User Experience disaster and make this vending machine usable and useful?
  1. Provide dedicated change cashiers that's equipped with endless supply of pristine 5,000, 2,000, and 1,000 rupiah banknotes; which actually is the way Coca Cola applied initially with providing a "vending machine attendant" that provides the ideal condition banknotes for the machine. However it turns the machine more into an entertainment device than a standalone autonomous device a vending machine should be.
  2. Set @10,000 item prices to wipe the pristine small change banknotes headache; adds a bonus for each purchase worth at least 3,000 rupiah, or donate it to a social cause so people feel they're doing something good with using the vending machine.
  3. Collaborate with the hypermarket owner nearby to help provides necessary banknotes AND inform the vending machine users that they can exchange their money there. It make sense since the store replenish their banknotes supply regularly.
  4. Change the machine mechanism to accept coins instead of banknotes.
  5. Create products sellable at 10,000 price on these vending machines.
I'm sure there are much more creative ways (or even practical) to solve this issue; what really matters is that conscious steps are taken to solve this issue. Else they are indeed aiming at a very narrow niche. (byms)