A vending machine can be a great addition to any business. By offering tempting treats, instant hydration, or a healthy snack, it is a great way to get your customers or visitors to part with their cash quickly and easily, boosting your bottom line.
However, your vending machine my be packed with the very best goodies you could imagine, but it will be no use to you if you put it in the wrong place.
Where you locate your vending machine can be just as important as what you put in it. If people can’t see it or find it difficult to access then it is unlikely that they will use it, and your new venture will not turn out to be much of a success. You need to find a spot for it that is appropriate and gets plenty of footfall without it becoming intrusive or an obstruction.
In this article, Cema Vending shares their insight into the placement of your vending machine, and why it can have a significant impact on the sales that it makes.
Make it visible
It might seem obvious, but if people can’t see your vending machine, then they are unlikely to use it. This is particularly true in the case of visitors who may not know their way around your building or know where your vending machine might be hiding. Your staff or regular customers might know of your vending machine’s whereabouts, but out of sight is out of mind, and they will not think to use it if it is not providing a daily reminder of its presence.
Vending machines advertise their wares very well, and they can offer temptation as they display what they offer. However, if people cannot see it, then they are less likely to be drawn in by it and your sales will be reduced.
Hiding your vending machine behind a pillar, in a dull corridor or under the stairs might seem like a convenient spot for you, but unless it is on show it is unlikely to be the money spinner that you were hoping for.
Putting your vending machine near a door or window can also work for you on multiple levels. It will not only be accessible for the staff and customers who are already in your business, but it can also appeal to those who are outside.
Anyone walking past can see your machine and take the decision to pop in and grab something even if they were not intending to use your business. This presents you with a new opportunity, as once someone has come through your door, they may then be tempted to make use of more than just your vending machine and you could find that you have a brand-new customer on your hands when all they wanted was a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar.
It stands to reason that the greater the number of people who walk past your vending machine, the more people are likely to use it. That means that it needs to be positioned in high traffic areas. A reception is always a great space for a vending machine as it can look welcoming, but it is somewhere that everyone will have to walk through at least twice a day. For visitors, it is also a space where they are kept waiting for a while, and so they are more likely to grab a cup of coffee or a bottle of water.
In leisure centres, train stations and shopping centres, vending machines are best located where people tend to congregate. If there are obvious spots where people are left waiting for long periods of time, they are likely to be lured in by the temptation of what sits behind the glass.
If they have small children with them, then it is only a matter of time before parents feel a tugging on their sleeve and the begging for something from the machine begins.
Sometimes vending machine placement is not just about finding the right spot but finding the right machine for that spot. For example, in a gym, the vending machine packed with high fat, high sugar and high salt snacks is probably not going to be well received by those who are working hard to get in shape.
Instead, choose a machine offering sports drinks, protein bars and healthy snacks to support the workouts that are being completed and the machine is much more likely to be used. Your other machines might be better located in a lobby where a greater range of different people are likely to be passing by.
Keep walkways free
We understand the need for your vending machine to be seen, but make sure that it is not so visible that it becomes a nuisance. Putting it in a busy walkway might get it seen by everyone, but if stopping to purchase something causes an obstruction, then people are less likely to use it. If the customer feels that they are getting in the way of others, they are less likely to stand around waiting for a drink to be poured or an item to be delivered.
If the vending machine that you have purchased is for your staff to use, then you need to make sure it is placed in typical break spaces such as canteens or lounge areas. This makes them much more inclined to use it if it means they will not be wasting valuable break time going to find it.
Certain machines can also be well situated in board or meeting rooms. Many vending machines can now supply barista style coffee as well as tea and hot chocolate, which often proves popular during long meetings and presentations.
The location of your vending machine is of paramount importance if you want it to be a success. It needs to be accessible, visible, and convenient in order for it to get the regular use that will help to make your business some valuable extra profits.