Unlike older times when vending machines were limited to shopping complexes and malls, they are now becoming more versatile. Modern advances and added features have led to vending machines being capable enough to cater to a large chunk of businesses. Additionally, the fact that these eliminate the need for human resource by automating the buying process has also played a major role. Therefore, it is no more uncommon to find these at movie theatres, hospitals, hotel lobbies and more.
While vending machines are largely beneficial they are an investment that needs regular maintenance and repair. For this very reason, it is important to figure out if your trade requires these or not.
Analysing the need of vending machines for your business can be time-consuming and cumbersome. It requires in-depth research on a number of parameters. However, to ease the process, we have prepared a list of things that you should consider in order to decide if you want to get a vending machine installed at your commercial establishment.
Some of the criteria that will help you make up your mind regarding vending machine installations are as follows.
- Footfall - In place of high footfall, a pantry or a cafeteria might not be the optimal decision. These require a large staff that needs to be paid, foregoing a large amount of profits made by the business owner. Moreover, the staff and space may be limited, such that it is inconvenient to seat and serve everyone who comes to your place of commerce. Such places usually include schools, malls, tourist attractions and so on. For businesses like these, a self-service vending machine having proper inventory detection systems installed is the apt choice.
- Wait Time - Airports, hospitals, hotels, car repair shops, derma clinics and more are places that require customers to wait their turn. During such long wait times, you don’t want your clients to get bored, such that they think twice before choosing your services the next time. Having a vending machine keeps them occupied by providing them food to chomp down on, bath essentials to browse, magazines to pick out and so forth. It also sets a great impression for your business in the minds of clients and makes you come across as someone who is compassionate towards their needs.
- Number of Employees - Sometimes, your business may be such that it does not see so many clients but has a large number of employees who work in the office for long hours of the day. During their service hours, your staff may need something to keep their energy levels up and to keep them motivated. A snack and drink vending machine or a coffee vending machine is the perfect solution in situations like these. You can even opt for a hot meal vending machine to provide more elaborate services. Getting these installed will not only make your employees more productive but will also show them that you value their efforts. This will further improve retention rates while reducing overheads on hiring extra workers for an inhouse pantry.
- Business Hours - If your business operates at odd hours then having a vending machine is essential. Places such as hotels and hospitals see customers at the unlikeliest of hours. Providing a 24 hour pantry or cafeteria service may increase your business overheads. Besides, your customer may just need light snacks instead of full meals during such times. Having a vending machine helps satisfy the sudden hunger pangs of your late night clients without any hassle.
- Length of the Consumer Decision Journey - In business spaces such as retail stores, the buyer’s journey may be long and time consuming. Your customer may take time to browse options, select alternatives and finally make a decision. Bestowing these customers with a way to snack while they shop for can be extremely lucrative. A vending machine will help that the consumers do not run away mid process to grab a trea. It can also help enhance their shopping experience and act as an attraction. In addition, it can increase the time of their visit, providing higher opportunities to make a sale.
- Need for Perks - Vending machines are a great addition to any business that wants to show its staff and consumers that it values them. These act as free perks that help display your appreciation and help retain employees as well as clients. This leads to several future gains and increases loyalty towards your products and services. Vending machines will also create a goodwill for your company in the market and attract more potential clients, increasing scope for higher sales as well as profits.
All the above explored considerations give any business owner a definite idea on whether installing a vending machine is profitable for their trade. Analyse these meticulously to avoid unforeseen losses.
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