By: Natalie Clark
In 2017, McMaster partnered with the My Lil’ HealthBot startup to provide students on campus with all of their various drugstore needs.
Stocked with Advil, shampoo and various other drugstore essentials, McMaster’s own personal care product vending machine, My Lil’ HealthBot “Marie,” located in Mary Keyes Residence, achieves a solid seven to 10 sales a week.
Two years later, My Lil’ HealthBot has expanded their market, grown their e-commerce capability, streamlined their product mix and improved their brand positioning and message.
“We have provided relief to over 10,000 university students across Canada and soon we will be launching in the United States,” said My My Lil’ HealthBot co-founder Tim Decker.
Aside from the obvious improvements that the company has accomplished, they also hope to introduce a new program to their roster.
“The only other place to obtain items sold by the vending machine are in the drugstore in [McMaster University Student Centre], which is closed in the evenings and on weekends, and the closest Shoppers for McMaster students is in Westdale or on Main Street West,” said Raj Vansia, a McMaster student who represents the company on campus.
“We hope to increase the availability of necessary products for McMaster students while still being able to provide great service,” said Vansia. “This is the main reason for us to try out the dorm room delivery pilot at McMaster, which would allow for delivery anywhere on campus within 20 minutes of any products in our HealthBots bought online.”
The My Lil’ HealthBot dorm room delivery program will be test launching on March 16 and will last 24 hours. The program is slated to gauge the demand from students to have products delivered to them for an extra fee.
“One of the benefits of our HealthBots being on campus is we provide a 24/7 solution to life’s headaches. However, what if you could have our products delivered to you in 20 mins or less for only an extra $3.99 on your order,” said Decker.
The company will be experimenting with this idea to see if there is demand to provide extra convenience to students.
“To use dorm room delivery, a student simply visits our website and ‘checks out’ normally, and for a delivery option they choose ‘Dorm Room Delivery,” explained Decker.
Due to dorm room security restrictions, products will be delivered to the lobby of McMaster residences.
The program’s trial test will allow the company to grasp how many students are interested in this new service.
“We have heard lots of great feedback from students. We are passionate about the way we have provided an option for easier access to very important products,” said Decker, who is confident about the positive impact that My Lil’ Heathbots have had on campus.
According to Decker and Vansia, My Lil’ HealthBot makes it easier for students on campus to access their drugstore needs.
“We strive to ensure that students should only have to focus on school while they are at school, rather than on how they will go about buying the necessities they need,” said Vansia.
With the vending machines already making their mark on the McMaster campus, Decker and Vansia are hopeful that the dorm room delivery program will be successful.
"Carrying over 50 personal health and care products, these touch-screen vending machines have been placed in Mary Keyes Residence and the Commons Building."
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