4 Ways the Vending Industry Can Keep Up in These Technologically Advancing Times
The vending machine industry, for which accessibility and impulse buying has long been a lifeline, has understandably struggled throughout the current health crisis. Even in Japan, where vending machines are more technologically advanced and extremely popular among the public, Bloomberg reports that sales still experienced a staggering 35% drop in 2020.
In order to bounce back from the losses of the past year, businesses in the global vending machine industry must make it their top priority to hasten reinvention and leverage new and developing technologies.
That said, here are some of the up and coming innovations that can help vending machine owners keep up with the technologically advancing times:
Consider cashless options
In a pandemic-stricken society, customers would want to limit friction points as much as possible. Right now, one of the most obvious ways to do so is by subscribing to non-traditional payment methods such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal, and even cryptocurrency. For an industry where the payment system is an integral part of the product offering, this shift can be a cause of uneasiness.
Fortunately, as we previously highlighted in our post ‘The Future is Cashless: What’s in it for Vending Machine Owners?’, vending machines that let customers pay via e-payment solutions, like the aforementioned ones, are now available. However, it’s important to note that riding the cashless wave comes at a price. If you are ever to invest in units that would enable your machines to accommodate cashless payments, bear in mind that you have to brace yourself for the upfront costs of the units and the operational fees.
Dabble into digital marketing
In today’s increasingly digital world, being able to market your products and services in the digital sphere is more crucial than ever. After all, digital marketing is not only capable of effectively and inexpensively introducing your machines to the local community but also of raising brand awareness and fostering consistent relationships with customers.
Digital marketing, of course, covers many different initiatives. Ayima, a technology-driven SEO marketing agency, highlights that these areas include search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and social media. Try researching on the current trends in your area, as well as potential partnerships you can make to promote your vending machine business. You can also reach out to digital marketing specialists to get professional advice.
Use advanced vending software
If you own a significant number of vending machines, the easiest way you can streamline your operations and keep up with the changing times is by using reliable vending software.
Applications like VendSoft will help improve your inventory management and allow you to manage your machines in real-time. In addition to this, the right software can also aid you in making informed business decisions without the need to download data every so often. Thanks to its compatibility with a variety of connected devices, enterprise software like Vendsoft can also enable you to manage your business anywhere you go and allow you to map locations the quickest way possible.
Look into AI and machine learning
As futuristic as it may seem, AI and machine learning has been slowly revolutionizing vending machines for the better. In fact, custom vending machines that have high-tech features ranging from facial recognition to enhanced energy efficiency are now a thing in some parts of the world, as noted by Hackernoon. Needless to say, these features are capable of increasing sales by making machines more efficient, cutting operational costs, and addressing customer needs in more ways than one.
Just like with many other industries currently, there is nowhere to go but up in 2021. To survive, vending machine businesses should look to make the most out of emerging technologies, keeping in mind costs, available expertise, and further opportunities.
Specially written for VendSoft
By: Rosia Jlynn