Posted on: May 10, 2022 |

Whether you have a vending machine for snacks, drinks, candy, ice or something else, traffic is important. If traffic to your vending machine slows down or changes, new strategies can help you keep sales up. If you’re looking to increase sales and traffic to your vending machine, try these innovative strategies.

9 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Vending Machine

1. Advertise on Nearby Roads or Thoroughfares

Many vending machine owners rely on a great location and a passive approach; customers making purchases when they’re at the location. However, some customers might be looking for snacks, drinks or candy, but they’re not aware of your vending machine.

Many customers follow the same routes on their way to work or traveling around town, and they might be very close to your vending machine without ever encountering it. A bit of advertising can help increase traffic to your vending machine. First, use eye-catching signs to make sure your location is very visible from the closest mean road or thoroughfare. Then, place additional signs where you can along neighboring roads and pathways.

Interested in Expanding Your Vending Business?
Download the Investor’s Guide to Ice and Water Vending >

2. Post Fliers

Take a look at nearby businesses or popular meeting spots, and see how you might spread the word about your ice machine. Use fliers with a simple, easy-to-follow map showing where your vending machine is located, and an eye-catching headline like, “Looking for Snacks?” or “Need Coffee?” You might place these fliers around nearby parks, apartment buildings, office buildings, businesses and more.

3. Offer Free Vends

Not all machines have the ability to offer free vends or discounts, but more and more machines are adding these types of features. If your machine has the ability to offer free vends, this can be a great way to make an impact on new customers and increase traffic to your vending machine. You might combine this feature with some of the previously mentioned advertisements to make your signs even more impactful.

4. Try Local Social Media

Social media can be a great way for businesses and customers to connect. If you’re proficient with one or more social media platforms, try advertising your business on social media. Use popular local hashtags on platforms like Instagram or Twitter. Join local groups on Facebook or Neighborly to show off your business in a local-oriented, online space.

5. Talk to Businesses

From offices to warehouses to factories, employees working long hours are likely to get hungry and thirsty. Connecting with these businesses and these employees can help you increase traffic to your vending machine. Whether your vending machine sells snacks, candy, coffee, water, ice or something else, it can be a welcome relief for employees taking a snack, smoke, or lunch break. You might post flyers at these businesses or pass out cards with discounts to encourage employees to visit your machines.

6. Giveaway

Everyone likes free things. You can increase traffic to your vending machine and spread the word by hosting a giveaway. This might be something small, like a free mug, t-shirt, or something similar. Or, you might give away free snacks or vends. Put a sticker or sign on your vending machine to explain how to enter and any other stipulations. You might encourage customers to post a selfie with your machine and their purchase to enter.

Interested in Expanding Your Vending Business?
Download the Investor’s Guide to Ice and Water Vending >

7. Highlight New Items

A new or hard-to-find snack or drink can also help to increase traffic to your vending machine. If you stock a fun new item, you might showcase or highlight it on your signs, advertisements, or a sticker on the front of the machine. If customers get used to your machine regularly stocking new and unique items, they might stop by just to see what’s new.

8. Polls

If you’re not sure what new items you should stock, consider asking your customers. You might post a link or QR code to an online poll and ask customers to weigh in on which item is the best. Or, you might post a poll on your social media account. This is a great way to spread the word about your vending machine and increase traffic to your vending machine.

9. Games

A poll is one way to see which items are more powerful and encourage audience participation. You can also use a game to take a poll, get participation from your customers, generate some excitement about your machine, and make it stand out.

Use a sign or a sticker on your machine and encourage customers to cast their vote for their favorite item by making a purchase. It helps to highlight two similar items, such as Coke and Pepsi or Doritos and Ruffles and ask customers to cast their vote with their purchase.

Remember that customers have to see a service or advertisement around 7 times on average before they make a purchase. This is why multiple types of advertising and outreach can make a difference. If a potential customer or a business owner sees your signs, fliers, and sees your machine on social media, they’re much more likely to make a purchase.