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Finding the best location for your vending machine

At the cost of sounding cliche, the top three of the five most important factors for success in the vending business are location, location, and location. It won’t be surprising if the other two are location too. Winning the right site for the vending machine is the first step towards monetizing the capital investment made on the machine. It influences critical business metrics like sales, profits, and average revenue per user. Choosing a poor location for a fancy piece of vending equipment is like keeping your gold in the bank and paying rent for safe keep. It is not only a poor use of your asset, but it also burns more cash for the upkeep. Incidentally, you could check out Vending.com’s profit calculator to simulate your earnings.

Need for a new location

Vending businesses are always looking for new machines and locations to place them in. The location is where their business starts generating returns or cash. Each vending business owner has their own drive to expand or enter a new location.

  • Starting a new vending business

Vending is a lucrative business with low barriers to entry. Vending machines are easy to use, not too expensive, and quick to generate returns. First-time investors of the vending industry who are looking to save for a rainy day are hungry for new locations. Location owners prefer working with them as long as they are in for the long haul. Vending.com has a specialized focus on helping entrepreneurs becoming successful.

  • Expanding to a new location

Vending machine owners who are already in business are also looking for opportunities to expand. They often start close to their base of operation and slowly expand to adjacent locations.

  • Choosing the right location for maximizing growth

Businessmen who are trained hands at the vending business always seek to maximize growth. If they identify an open opportunity in a high-growth locality that can benefit from the convenience of a vending machine, they pursue it. This adds to the race for space. Our earlier blogpost covers this area.

  • Diversification of risk

Veterans in the business are not only hungry for growth but are also keen to reduce risk. Betting on one or a few locations is like putting all the eggs in one basket. So, they often try to find new localities to place their equipment with diverse demographics and preferences. This helps them tide over challenges due to lagging demand in the areas they already operate in.

Selecting the right location

Newbies and veterans alike are hunting for that attractive bit of real estate where their vending machines can serve more and more customers. But not all places have the same level of earning potential. Successful vending entrepreneurs carefully select the ideal spot for their machines and then go all-out to win the location. While there is no clear definition for the right site, common sense and meticulous consideration of certain influencing factors can help get the best location deal. Some of them are discussed below.

  • Traffic volume

All said and done, like all other retail businesses, vending is a numbers game. The more the number of transactions, the faster is the recovery of capital employed. The machine should be placed in spaces where there is a good level of foot traffic. Public spaces, offices, schools, and other public places are good examples of a good volume of user traffic. These locations often generate the most per-machine revenues.

  • Traffic quality

While the volume of transactions driven by high foot traffic is essential, the kind of traffic also plays an important role. The vending machines in the lobby of the office of an investment bank will have users with high disposable income. The average price per transaction will be higher than a school where children deal in “small change.” This also allows adjusting margins depending on where the machine is located. A good example would be when the same water bottle costs more in the office than at the school.

  • Competition

Competition in the vending business is a necessary evil. When the location you are pursuing has been hosting a competitor for a long time, the competitor continues to enjoy good sales. But it also means you will have to fight harder. Fight harder with the location owner for placing the machine and then fight harder for the wallet-share of the consumer who visits the place.

There are also advantages to placing the machine where there is competition. It is relatively easier to price suitably for the location without experimentation. A common trick is to price the competitors’ product brands at lower levels in your machine and price your unique ones at higher margins. Eventually, in a location with fair competition, the prices of all vendors settle down to similar levels. Then the differentiator is through the quality of products, availability, and the quality of the machines used. This is also an opportunity to showcase and grow your brand’s identity and recall value, and Vending.com’s marketing has the precise support that helps with this.

  • Merchandize

The merchandize that is sold in the machine also varies as per the location. Protein shakes sell almost exclusively at the gym. There is very little chance that an office employee will shell out change for a protein shake at the cafeteria. Potato chips at the gym might only the serve the purpose of testing the resolve of the patrons. They may fly off the racks at a school or a park though.

  • Type of Vending Equipment

It might come as a surprise, but what machine you choose will also depend on your location to place it. The table below shows how certain types of machines will suit almost all the locations, while others fit only a few.

LocationCombo Vending MachinesDrink Vending MachinesSnack Vending MachinesFrozen Food MachinesCoffee Vending Machines
Schools and Universities
Offices
Hotels
Shopping Centers
Hospitals & Care Centers
Government Offices
Transport Service Centers
Gyms
Manufacturing Facilities

Conclusion

Vending business owners can consider work half done when they have scored the best locations for their machines. From there, it is just making them rain.

Experts at Vending.com can guide you to get your new vending business off to a flying start or race ahead of the competition. To know how to pick the best vending machines for your location or suitable locations for the equipment you have in mind, talk to us at 1-855-929-1042.

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Ways customer service influences your vending business

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

– Maya Angelou – Poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist

Certain sayings have a great deal of wisdom hidden in them that resonates with us. What makes them great is how they remain true across time. We all must have heard the above Maya Angelou quote in some variation or another, and this holds for customer satisfaction, which in turn drives sales success.

Customer Satisfaction = Customer Service + Customer Experience

A particular study by Oracle® found that 86% of the surveyed consumers were willing to pay more for better customer service. The link between customer satisfaction and sales success is well-documented.

Though there are multiple definitions based on context, we could safely take the following equation as the simplest canonical form: Customer Satisfaction = Customer Service + Customer Experience. 

Customer satisfaction is a combination of aspects that are in our control, 

  • Customer service, the tangible aspects such as a well maintained and stocked machine, ensures full marks
  • Customer experience, where the intangible elements, such as aesthetics or a contactless and cashless experience, come into the picture.

At Vending.com, our machines cover both aspects. 

Quality of Customer Service

Customer service is key to gaining repeat customers and growing your business.

Stock availability

More product selections translate to more sales. Our combo vending machines, for instance, vends multiple product types and has a flexible and high storage capacity.

Ease of Use 

The customer does not like coin jams, bills returned, glitchy interfaces, or faulty buttons. The customer depends on the vending equipment to save them time while servicing their needs.

Safety

Vending equipment is a substantial piece of machinery. As rugged and handsome as they are, they still need to be grounded, balanced, and suitably located to stave off any possibility of injury. In today’s environment, sanitization of high contact surfaces are also non-negotiable. Check out our UVend Technology that provides a safer vending experience for customers.

Quality of Customer Experience

Customers are the cornerstone of your success. Focusing on the below areas will help in maintaining and optimizing the quality of their interaction with your vending business.

  • Ease of accessing information: We are living in a mobile-first consumer environment. Your customers are used to responsive touchscreens with strategically located useful information. They expect no less from their food, snack, or drink vending machines.
  • Technology
  • Cashless: Again, the focus is on a seamless interaction. One where mobile and card-based payment systems increase convenience for the customer. Our offerings are equipped with the latest payment acceptance systems. Additionally, in some cases, these offerings can be retrofitted. We recommend contacting your sales representative for more information.
  • Contactless: Unattended retail is growing. With this, our machines are equipped to make the entire user-machine interaction contactless, from product selection to payment to delivery. We ensure a no-touch experience to the end-users. 
  • Aesthetics – The Where, How, and Wow of Product Placement
  • Planogram: Out of sight, out of mind. We do not want visibility to affect your sales. Our in-house experts help you plan the positioning of your best-sellers. This ensures customers do not turn to another machine just because they could not spot the snack they wanted.
  • Lighting: Visibility is one thing. Viewability is another. Vending.com machines have strategically placed LED bulbs that enhance merchandise viewability.
  • Design: The where and how of product placement is covered, and now we come to the ‘wow.’ Depending on the audience targeted, a good design helps you get extra sales. Vending.com helps you convert your branding goals or your marketing ideas into visual graphic wraps
  • Alignment with/cognisance of customer philosophy
  • Accessibility: Patrons will range from children or elderly or the differently-abled. As such, our machines are all ADA compliant or ADA ready.
  • Sustainability: Consumers are now more aware than ever of the environmental impact of their purchase decisions. Vending.com has always been at the forefront of creating or in the early adoption of energy-efficient practices. Our machines are ENERGY STAR® certified. We constantly innovate through engineering and sourcing to keep the toll on our environment to a bare minimum.

We have ensured client success throughout our decades (90 years) of experience in delivering automatic merchandising equipment by helping our clients provide great end-user service and constantly optimize the end-user experience. We deliver thanks to our consistent focus on innovation and dedicated and exhaustive service, maintenance, and repair.

Making Vending Machines Your Best Salesperson

With a vending machine, there is an opportunity to provide standardized customer service and a quality customer experience to ensure more repeat sales and increased customer loyalty.

At Vending.com, we focus on making our machines a delight to use. We incorporate customer feedback and industry trends into our R&D. Connect with us to know more about the features and machines that will drive more vending sales for your business at 1-855-929-1042.