Posted on: December 16, 2021 |
As cities and neighborhoods grow and change, it’s not always good for business. When traffic patterns change or the popularity of a particular hotspot declines, it may mean your vending business is losing sales. How can you adapt? Let’s take a look at solutions and strategies you can use if your vending business is losing sales.
My Vending Business is Losing Sales: What Can I Do?
Analyze Traffic Patterns
One of the biggest impacts to your vending business can be changes in traffic patterns. If your vending machine is accessible from a major road, this might mean a new highway or a new local road has diverted traffic. If your vending machine is focused on a busy location with more foot traffic, such as a bus station, office building, college campus, shopping mall or a similar area, new developments may have affected foot traffic through this area. Numerous scenarios may divert customers away from your vending machines and cause your vending business to lose sales. The good news is, there are solutions.
First, take a closer look at the traffic patterns and how they’ve changed. How much has traffic declined? You might get data on this by working with nearby businesses, or simply count cars or passersby yourself. This might be a ballpark estimate or more specific comparisons of traffic numbers from where you started to now.
Second, take a close look at the changes that have occurred. This includes changes to roadways and suburbs, as well as new developments that might compete with or affect your location. For example, if your vending machine usually served office workers on their lunch break, but many people are now working from home, this is probably why your vending business is losing sales. This information can help to answer the next important questions; where has traffic gone? Where have customers gone? Answering these questions can help you determine the best way to move forward.
Move The Machine
Your customers didn’t simply disappear. As you studied changes to traffic patterns, residential areas, and working and shopping routines, you may have figured out where they went. The simplest solution is to scout a new location and move your machine.
However, before you do, consider whether or not your decline in vending sales is permanent. If, for example, your previous nine-to-five office customers are now working from home, how likely is it that they will come back? Try to gather what data you can and make a determination. If the changes are permanent, it’s time to move to a new location. If not, you might be better off waiting it out.
As you gathered data, maybe you found out that your customers didn’t go far. For example, maybe your office workers are still active, but most workers are on a different floor of the building. Or maybe your commuters are now taking a different route. A simple solution to bring customers back to your machine if your vending business is losing sales is to advertise.
Create simple, but eye-catching signs and place them in nearby areas with lots of motor or foot traffic. Point them back in the direction of your machines. You might highlight special items that your machine has, or special prices. Getting familiar with few simple digital tools can help you create eye-catching print ads.
Try New Products
If you noticed that traffic around your vending machine has been mostly steady, but your vending business is still losing sales, maybe your customers’ interests have changed. For example, many customers are becoming more aware of the negative health effects of sugary drinks and salty snacks. If your vending machine only carries these, try diversifying, and see what works. When you add new products, highlight these with a sign on the machine. You might point out the reduced calorie content or improved nutrient content.
The best way to see if your customers’ interests or tastes have changed is simply to ask them. As you’re collecting data around your machines, talk to passersby, and ask them what snacks or drinks they might like to see.
If you suspect that reduced traffic is not responsible for a loss in vending sales, and your products probably aren’t the problem either, maybe the machine itself is to blame. If you’ve noticed your vending business steadily losing sales over a number of years, rather than a sudden decline in the last year or so, upgrades might help bring business back.
If your machine looks old and outdated, or if it isn’t equipped with a credit card reader, this might be the cause of a decline in sales. Fewer and fewer people are carrying cash, and more are carrying credit cards. This upgrade is likely to pay off in the long run. Similarly, if your machine’s appearance is turning customers away, you’ll have to fix this problem before customers will want to come back. Once again, talk to customers about your machine, and find out what they’re looking for.
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