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Increase Sales Through Product Mix Optimization – Part 2

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As promised, here is Part 2….These are some of the less obvious changes you can make with your products to increase sales and have happy customers!  Enjoy!

Ask Customers For Suggestions or Observe Them

Almost every time I fill my machines, there is someone around. Either passing by or trying to make a purchase. The best way to find out what your customers like is to ask them! My very first location is proof of this. I was constantly switching products in and out trying desperately to find the right mix. One day, someone was having lunch in the break room and I noticed they were drinking a Pepsi. So I removed the Coke from my machine and added a Pepsi. Literally overnight, and I do mean literally because the location was open 24 hours a day, my sales increased! I started asking the employees what types of things they liked and began adding them in the machine. Now of course, not all the suggestions were hits, but many of them were. My sales nearly tripled at that location in a week’s time! You know how the the old saying goes… closed mouths don’t get fed!!

 

Offer Different Sized Options

This one isn’t always obvious, but it’s very helpful for many reasons. People are willing to pay just a bite more for a larger size of their favorite item. You make more money and they get more of what they love! A win-win situation! Also, having products that vary in size aid in preventing products from hanging up on each other while vending. This is important because no one likes their products to get stuck in the vending machine and some will not continue to use your machine if this happens too frequently.

 

Avoid Variety Packs

When you are first starting out, variety packs are NOT your friend! Only 1 or 2 of the items in the entire pack are actually selling. That means you have to buy an entire new pack of chips or candy, just to get the 1 or 2 you need. You end up with 3 or 4 items that sell slowly or not at all. Those typically end up in the trash, money down the drain! Unless you have a good number of machines, like 10 or more, I’d shy away from variety packs. It’s no fun to race against expiration dates, that’s fighting an up hill battle that you are sure to lose!

Check out my recent Youtube Video discussing the pitfalls of using variety packs here.

Don’t Fall Into the Healthy Vending Trap

While it’s a great idea to promote healthy eating, machines that offer only healthy products, isolate customers and the products are typically more expensive than traditional options. A lot of healthy products don’t have the same brand recognition as traditional products, which makes it more risky for customers to make a pricey purchase. I suggest having a few traditional items in all your healthy vending machines. Adding a soda or a popular candy bar can increase your sales by up to 20% or more depending on the location. Don’t believe me…try it!

4 comments

  • Marco McLendon

    December 11, 2017 at 7:15 am

    This was very informative.

    Reply

    • admin

      December 11, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Thank you! I’m glad you found it helpful! Let me know if there are any other topics you are interested in.

      Reply

      • Marco McLendon

        January 3, 2018 at 10:44 am

        Could you discuss the pros and cons of Soda vs Snacks. Soda machines tend to do better than snacks, but people love their snacks. Even though it’s hard to make a profit with candy.

        Reply

        • Candra Renee

          January 5, 2018 at 5:05 pm

          Yes! I can definitely do that! What kind of vending machines do you have, just drink machines?

          Reply

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