SP Innomall houses Singapore's largest vending machine cluster
Singapore Polytechnic project aims to test products and innovations among youth
Before MBarSG karaoke and recording booths started appearing in local shopping malls, two sets were already available in Singapore Polytechnic (SP) since July.
Mr Jack Yu, marketing manager of U-Star Singapore - the company that brought the booths into Singapore - said it approached SP for a platform to reach out to the youth and understand their preferences and behaviours.
He told The New Paper: "I thought it would be good for us to test if it suits the local market and learn about the purchasing power of youngsters."
The booths are among a cluster of 28 vending machines that sells snacks and products such as Brand's Essence of Chicken, cosmetics and magazines.
The nation's largest vending machine gallery, also known as SP Innomall, is a pilot project of the SP Business School to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises to test their products and innovations among the youth.
SP entrepreneurship lecturer Kenneth Wongsaid the vending technology in SP Innomall serves as a platform for local companies to collect data and conduct live inventory management using less physical space and manpower.
Mainly managed by students from the entrepreneurship specialisation of the Diploma in Business Administration (DBA) course, SP Innomall also allows the companies to tap on the students' knowledge to conduct market research and develop new marketing ideas targeting millennials.
Final-year DBA student Kaden Koh, 19,said the biggest challenge was convincing companies to jump on board without focusing on monetary rewards.
He said: "SP Innomall is a test bed for them to gain exposure and a wealth of knowledge about millennial purchasing behaviours. The insight gathered is not something you can put a price tag to."
A popular cosmetic brand among mature women, Three Beauties of London is one of 17 companies leveraging on SP Innomall as it now wishes to reach out to a younger audience with new products.
Final-year DBA student Kelyn Chur, 20, said that data showed students were not receptive to buying cosmetics from a vending machine.
The screen of Three Beauties of London's vending machine now plays videos of lipstick swatches.
"We added the screen to show the different colours through videos as it will be better if customers can see the lipstick swatches before they buy," she said.
Mr Dyran Dharmaraj, chief executive officer of Three Beauties of London, said: "Now that we can test ideas here and gather data, we can keep developing our ideas before implementing them in other locations."