The product decides the machine.
A vending business is a reliable source of revenue, if you do it right. Even if you are not a mainstay vending business owner, an additional revenue stream from a vending machine gives you the liberty to pursue your passion. It helps you save money for a rainy day. The first step towards getting a steady flow of revenue is by choosing the right product to sell and the machine that vends it, in that order. It is important to remember that while people interact with the machine, it is the product that they consume.
First-time buyers often tend to focus more on the machine than the product. The product is a bigger capital investment than stocking the machine. They tend to pay less attention to the fact that revenue and profits come from the product you stock and sell. So, choosing what you want to sell takes precedence over the machine you use to sell it. Let us discuss how to select the right product that will give you the best results.
Factors to consider
The most obvious factor influencing your decision should be user experience. Your consumers should get the best satisfaction by buying from your machine. The best experience comes from the product they want to buy and the machine they interact with. So, the product you sell and the machine you use should be of the best quality and at the right price point. These two factors are applicable to what product you choose to sell. Other factors are influencing the selection of the product you choose to sell, however, like the ones below.
- Volume: Some products sell in higher volumes than others. The higher the number of transactions, the better the returns on investing in a vending machine. Water bottles and beverages constitute more than 56% of the sales through vending machines. They are universally sought staples and can also generate a decent margin. Moreover, vending machine products are generally impulse buys. This means while users start transacting to buy a water bottle, they can get interested in a bag of chips or an energy bar. So, high-volume products increase the chances of up-selling and generating more revenue per user.
- Profitability: Certain products can fetch a higher margin than others in your vending machine. While the same product may not have the best profitability everywhere, there are certainly some sweet spots. There is statistical evidence from a survey showing that the humble water bottle scores high on the profitability scale. Fruit snacks are a close second, but again, these are statistical averages. While your water bottle might get you good profits at a gym, sugary drinks and candies might earn big bucks at an amusement park. That takes us to the next factor you need to consider while selecting the right product to sell, the location.
- Location: The location of your vending machine can significantly influence what sells and what does not. The volume of traffic, the spending power of the traffic, and the need for convenient access to supplies are all dependent on the location. Outdoor vending machines with cold beverages at a summer fair can be a bigger attraction than the rides. Cold sandwiches might fly off the machines at the factory cafeteria. Protein shakes are more likely to be bought at a gym than most other places. Location not only defines what sells but also how much of it. Some vending enthusiasts place so much significance on the location that they are happy to select their machine or product based only on this factor.
- Demographics: This is a slight evaluation of the location. This defines who is likely to use the machine. The demographics you are likely to cover at a school are children between 8 and 18 with access to disposable income in the form of pocket money. An office is more likely to have an older age group of people but with a bigger purse at their disposal. This kind of classification of who is likely to use your machine will help you identify the products they will likely need. It also indicates how you can price the products that have a compelling demand against others that don’t.
The right machine for the right product
Choosing the right product impacts your customers’ experience, who do business with your machines. Getting the product mix right has a great influence on the revenue and profitability of your vending business, but the product by itself does not complete the experience of your customer. They conduct these transactions through your machines. Hence, the right machines combined with the best products deliver delight to your customers and success to you. Striking a balance between performance, features, cost of purchase, cost of ownership and maintenance could be tricky even for experienced vending machine owners.
This is where businesses like Vending.com can help. With over 90 years of experience in the vending industry and a sophisticated ecosystem of distributors and partners, Vending.com can provide the right vending solutions tailored to your needs. Reach out to us at www.vending.com or call us at 1-855-929-1042 to know more.