A creation of modern innovation for the sake of modern convenience, vending machines in India are now an important part of the retail pie in India. What started as an income extension for multiple businesses, now stands as a thriving industry, projected to reach USD 5,145 million by the year 2030!
With such exponential growth, the business of vending machines in India and around the world is all about the survival of the fastest. To stay ahead, you need to stay updated on the latest innovation in vending machine technology and of course use this knowledge to increase sales through vending machines.
One of the most important factors determining vending machine profitability is your decision of where to place vending machines, amongst other key factors. Read on for some insightful vending machine location tips and learn how you can further increase sales and profitability for your vending machine business.
Table of contents
How to attract more customers to vending machines
To optimise your vending machine business in India, requires a three-pronged approach that includes strategic marketing, selecting the optimum products and customer engagement. Below is a more detailed list of factors, in addition to picking the best locations for vending machines, that influence vending machines sales:
Choose an optimal location
Offer a good mix of products
Use eye-catching graphics
Accept multiple convenient payment methods
Offer discounts and run promotions
Provide reliably great customer service
Invest in the latest technology
How to Select the Best Vending Machine Locations
Topping all else, the location of the vending machine is the most influential factor to determine your vending machine’s sales. And if you want to maximise the profits of your vending machine business in India, locate areas with high foot traffic.
Some of the best locations for vending machines are schools, offices, hospitals, and malls. This ensures that more people see the vending machine and are likely to use it. However, before deciding the best places to put vending machines, think about factors that influence the placement of vending machines.
The essential factors to consider are:
You must consider nearby vendors who might offer similar goods. If that's the situation, you need to find gaps or unserved niches in the market. Differentiate your vending machines by offering unique products that set them apart from competitors.
Distance from Warehouse
Although vending machines don't necessarily need much upkeep, they need to be refilled, therefore they shouldn't be placed too far from the stocking warehouse. This will help you prevent logistical problems and save money.
Since most vending machines are electrically powered, ensure there are few power outages and an uninterrupted supply of electricity. Have a power backup plan in place in case of power outages.
Placement (outside or inside a building)
For example, If you have a snack vending machine or a beverage vending machine, setting these outside an office or commercial building can be a fantastic idea because people entering/exiting the building or even those walking by can feel a sudden pang of hunger and need to stay hydrated when they are outside. But if it’s inside then decide on where to place the vending machine based on visibility and accessibility for those working inside the building.
Now that you know about some of the factors to consider while deciding the best places to put a vending machine, let’s take a deep dive into some of the best locations for vending machines based on our expertise in the vending industry and on our client’s experience.
Best Locations for Vending Machines
Coming to the make or break part for your vending machines. Here some some of high footfall locations that are also the best places to put vending machines:
Excellent locations due to the high number of employees who might not be able to step out or bring a snack from home but are looking for quick snacks, beverages and even meals during breaks. A hot food vending machine or snack vending machine is perfect in this case.
Schools, colleges and universities have a large student population in need of convenient snacks and beverages. Again, a snack or beverage vending machine can be a winner.
Airports, train stations and bus terminals experience some of the highest foot traffic around the year, making them ideal for setting up vending machines. Traveller often need the convenience of picking up everything from snacks to even last travel supplies while on the go. A custom vending machine can solve some of these challenges.
Malls attract shoppers and families, especially on the weekends. They often look for refreshments such as ice creams while shopping without having to necessarily visit a cafe or restaurant. In such cases, a frozen food vending machine can prove to be quite useful.
With the rise of the IT industry, tech parks have become common in most tier-1 and some tier-2 cities, making them suitable locations for vending machines.
One of those places where time is precious. Patients, visitors and hospital staff, often seek quick and easily accessible snacks and beverages.
Event or Entertainment Venues
Cinemas, theatres and big event venues draw large crowds who are looking to spend on snacks and beverages.
Health-conscious individuals at fitness centres might be interested in healthier snack and drink options. Most healthy snacks are perfect for snack vending machines.
Placing vending machines in residential areas or apartment complexes can add to the convenience of quick commerce, and aid residents with instant commerce. Last minute-supplies needed in a household can be fulfilled even at odd hours through vending machines.
Government offices, courts and administrative buildings can see steady footfall from workers and other visitors during working hours.
Factories and industrial zones with a significant workforce could benefit from vending machines for meal breaks. Hot food vending machines, beverage vending machines (hot and cold) can provide affordable convenience.
Highways, petrol stations and highway rest areas are frequented by travellers who are often in need of a quick snack or drink.
Now that you know all about the various vending machine location tips, we are sure you are already brimming with ideas on where to place vending machines. Here are some additional factors to consider, in addition to location for the success of your vending machine business.
Other Factors that Affect Vending Machine Sales
Selecting the right product for the location is critical. For example, if your vending machine is located in a gym, you may want to focus on selling healthy snacks and drinks. To further increase sales, consider offering seasonal products or special edition products, such as holiday-themed snacks or mithais.
Using eye-catching graphics and designs helps highlight the vending machine amidst the crowd and attract more customers to the machine. This also makes them an advertising medium that helps in building a stronger brand.
Multiple Payment Methods
It’s 2023, and most customers now prefer the convenience of cards or mobile payment options such as UPI or e-wallets. This makes it imperative to invest in automatic vending machines that offer multiple cashless payment methods to customers, in addition to touchless product selection. Any vending machine can become cashless, touchless and automatic with the help of a vending management system such as the Retrobox.
Discounts & Promotions
Discounts, offers and giveaways are some of the quickest ways to increase vending machine sales. While they may not offer a permanent increase in sales, they can help push them up for the duration of the offer or discount. For example, offering a discount for purchasing multiple items or offering a free item after a certain number of purchases can encourage customers to use the vending machine more frequently.
Customer service is vital in the vending machine business too. This ranges from quick and effortless refunds to always having your vending machines’ inventory stocked with the right product mix. Secondly, responding promptly to any customer issues can improve the customer experience and make them a loyal repeat customer.
Invest in the Latest Technology
Apart from monitoring vending machine inventory and machine status, the latest vending machine management software can also help identify which products are selling well in which location. Investing in the latest technology also includes superior hardware which includes vending machines with a touchscreen interface, online payment option for customers and easy access to sales analytics data for vending machine operators.
It is vital to note that increasing vending machine sales requires all these factors to work in combination. Right from selecting the best locations for vending machines to the efficient management of your vending machine through technology to providing excellent customer service. These are all important pieces of completing the jigsaw puzzle for increasing sales and staying competitive in an ever-growing, ever-evolving vending industry.
How can Vendekin help?
If you are thinking about starting a vending machine business or getting vending machines onboarded for your brand, but are confused about selecting the right location then Vendekin can help. Our experts can share some of the best vending machine location tips and help you select the best location, vending machine and even product mix for your business. To help with these pieces and beyond, drop us a hello at email@example.com.
Should I finalise a location before buying a vending machine?
Usually, it is good to have some research done on the location before starting a vending machine business. This can include studying footfalls of various location, identifying the target audience, studying competition at these proposed locations and identifying the product mix etc.
Are there certain locations that work better vending machine placement?
Should I choose the vending machine location solely based on traffic?