Coinstar Growth through Omni-Channel Test & Learn


Customer Challenge

In Japan, cash is still King and the most widely used form of payment.  Japanese people who accumulate a stockpile of coins at home eventually take them to either a Bank or Post Office to be converted to cash. However, the Japanese Post office and Japanese Banks wanted to shy away from this service and announced that they would begin charging fees on a per-coin basis, disadvantaging anyone with significant volumes of coins.

Coinstar provides consumers with a convenient way to exchange these coins for Cash or Coupons through their vending machines distributed throughout Japan. And the new banking regulations created further opportunities for Coinstar to expand their machine base nationally.

Coinstar planned to rapidly expand placements of their machines across Japan and needed to achieve both high levels of brand awareness coupled with strong local demand to drive trial from consumers. And at the same time ensure that Department Stores, Shopping Centres and Supermarkets saw increased transactions in their business as a result of a machine placement and would continue to support them.

For Coinstar, overspending on communications where consumers could not find machines to trial was going to create high levels of waste. So Coinstar had to develop a roll-out strategy that would:

  • Increase Brand Awareness (B2B/B2C)
  • Drive Incremental Usage of Machines (B2C)
  • Build Brand Trust with Partners to drive installation of more machines (B2B)
  • Build Brand Trust with Consumers (B2C)
  • Reduce Waste through precision targeting


For B2C our solution was to increase local awareness of machines via Omnichannel proximity targeting; combining offline and offline channels with targeted messaging to achieve Awareness and Trial goals. We split-test these methods in different regions.

In some regions we tested offline newspaper inserts (Chirashi) targeting households within specific distances of newly installed machines, to drive awareness and trial from local residents. QR Codes were unique to each areas to track engagement and enquiry.

In other regions, we used proximity based Display Ads geo-located to create awareness and drive trial to specific machines within walking distances of Shopping Centres. The tactic was to notify Consumers that there was a nearby kiosk and that they should bring their coins with them to trail the Machines



Proximity-based omni-channel targeting for Coinstar Japan was highly successful exceeding KPIs and Commercial Targets. After Program Optimizations the average transaction volumes increased 30% compared to unsupported areas with an overall Business Uplift of 56% increases on average transaction value.

Digital Online Results:

Local Site traffic increased significantly where proximity based display advertising was used.

  • Google Organic Results: +200.11%
  • Yahoo! Organic Results: +178.84%
  • Return on AdSpend (RoAS) 3.2X
Offline Results:
  • QR code activations from within the Chriashi generated 1,500 new enquiries per placement, with inbound call-centre engagement increasing 10X.
  • Average transactions increased 182% from the benchmark resulting in 6.2X Return on Advertising Spend (RoAS).
  • Grocery Channels experiences uplift in revenues from increased basket value directly attributable to Coinstar placement in Supermarkets and Retail Malls.

Coinstar was also able to leverage these results as case-studies for further B2B machine rollout and placements across Japan.

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