How ZoomSystems Goes to Market

zoom-systems-logoIn this video, I interview David Popler, Senior Vice President of Business Development, about how ZoomSystems goes to market.

About ZoomSystems

Founded in 2002 and based in San Francisco, California, ZoomSystems is the global leader in innovative, automated retail.  Its ZoomShops provide point-of-sale solutions for brands and retailers and give consumers an enhanced, convenient, and satisfying shopping experience.

ZoomSystems provides end-to-end solutions for both in-store and satellite retail—from location procurement and aesthetics development to replenishment and customer data.  Its unmanned stores deliver some of the highest sales per square foot in retail.

The ZoomShop network has grown to over 1,500 locations in airports, malls, resorts, military bases, and retail stores across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Japan.  Top brand and retail partners include Best Buy, Nespresso, Macy’s, Proactiv, and Amazon.

About David Popler

David is the SVP of Business Development and is responsible for defining sales strategy and developing new customer relationships at ZoomSystems. His background includes extensive experience leading sales, business development, and operations in technology companies. He was previously CEO at GoingOn where he led the company in developing a successful web community platform for education. David also held executive positions at Corrigo, Andersen Consulting, and Merck Pharmaceuticals.

How ZoomSystems Goes to Market


Hugh: Today’s March 13th. I’m here with David Poplar, who runs sales and business development at Zoom Systems. David, thanks joining us.

David: Hi, Hugh. Thanks for having me.

Hugh: Tell us first, David, what does Zoom Systems do, who do you sell to, and what’s the value that you offer?

David: Sure. Well, Zoom Systems develops and operates an automated retail platform for brands and retailers. Just to give an example, you may have seen the Best Buy machines that we run in the airports selling high value consumer electronics.

We have one of a kind global system that provides all of the hardware, software, and managed services required to deliver products all the way from the manufacturer to a point of sale that is a small format unattended retail shop.

Hugh: Gotcha. Who do you sell to? Who are your target customers?

David: Generally, they’ll be large mostly iconic brands and retailers. We go to market in two ways, which I think helps explain who are targets would be. They are going to be what we call satellite and what we call in-

Satellite is creating new retail locations where none existed before. That would be, for example, in airports, where there may have been a bench, or an old pay phone, or a potted plant. We turn that into a revenue opportunity, and a brand exposure,and a presence opportunity for the brand and also for the landlord.

We do that in airports, rail stations, malls, universities, military, casinos, resorts, places like that.

Then on the other side is what we call in-store using the same technology to solve different problems, which are more about on-shelf availability and shrink, protecting the assets.

Hugh: Got it. You have those two kind of main ways of going to market and markets you’ve attacked. You’ve been doing this for a number of years now, David. Tell me, how’s that working for you where things are kind of humming along and where are things a challenge.

Dave It works great. Really, the challenge in automated retail, they’re the same challenges you have in any retail. If you wanted to open a store in a mall, you have to do the same things for automated retail as you would to open a store in the mall, except you just don’t have people working in the store, it’s unattended.

Really, the same steps to do the merchandising, and the build out, the planogram work, all of those things, and they all lead into a P and L.

You’ve some capital to spend, and you’ve got your monthly P and L per store, and it really works the same way. The challenges, as usual, you have to have the P and L that works both for our customer and us at the same time to provide those services, as you might expect.

Hugh: Got it. No, that makes sense. Just one last question to wrap up. You’ve been doing some interesting things with Amazon, which we don’t think of as a bricks and mortar retailer, tell us a little bit about that.

David: You wouldn’t think of them as brick and mortar, because they are really the 800-pound gorilla of the online world as you know.

They decided right before the holidays of this previous year to go into the physical world of selling for the first time and to do it with us. They did it in an area we’re calling experiential marketing where they went into some of the top malls while people were shopping for the holidays.

They created really a funky library environment where you could sit, and read Kindles, and even go into a booth, and have the lighting changed. It could be the lighting of a beach during the day or night time in bed. It could change as you did that.

Then, if they were interested in the Kindles, they could actually buy the product through a Zoom shop in automated retail.

One of the benefits for them is that the people that they hire for these experiential marketing areas are really more of your temporary workers that can be helpful and deliver messaging. It would take I guess more expense to have people who would handle the credit cards and the cash. We took care of them for that in machines that actually accentuated their branding presence.

Hugh: That is fantastic. David, thanks for taking a few minutes with us. We greatly appreciate it.

David: Sure. You’re welcome, Hugh. Good to see you.

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