Optimizing product mix is key to having a successful vending business. While there are many factors that influence sales at each location, here are some things you can do to increase sales, WITHOUT raising prices.
1. Remove Slow Movers
Although this seems like a no brainer, may operators leave slow selling items in their machines so that they don’t have to throw it away. Often times, the product expires before it sells and ends up in the trash regardless. If it’s not selling now, it’s not going to sell later! Take it out of the machine and replace it with an item that IS selling. It’s okay to have two slots of the same item, especially if that item is popular.
2. Offer A New Product Or Flavor
You can also replace your slow moving items with new items. New items sell well because well, they’re new! People are excited to have new options and love to try new things. I’ve had customers tell me that they some times buy things out of the vending machines that they haven’t tried before because it’s cheaper than going to the grocery store and buying a large size of something they may not like.
Some times, it’s not the product, it’s the flavor of the product. For example, say you offer Cool Ranch Doritos in your machine and they aren’t selling. It wouldn’t be accurate to say, “This location doesn’t like Doritos.” Trade the Cool Ranch for the Nacho flavor and see what happens. It could be possible they just like the Nacho flavor better, or it’s also possible that they just don’t like Doritos. This way, you will know for sure.
3. Make Sure The Product Matches The Demographic
Don’t offer Scooby Doo Snacks and Sour Patch Kids in your machine located inside a gym! The people at gyms typically don’t eat those things. New vending operators tend to offer the same products to all their locations, regardless of the demographic. This is a big mistake, but easy to fix. Typically, customers in office buildings like healthier options. Try trail mix, granola bars, and low calorie snacks. Be sure to mix in more traditional offerings a well. Who doesn’t like a Snicker’s here and there. Customers in warehouses, tend to enjoy energy drinks, pastries, and chips, but be sure to add some nuts and low calorie options here as well.
4. Put Something On Sale
Have a slow moving product or a product that is close to the expiration date? Put it on sale! Changing the price by $0.10 or so will make the item more appealing. Post a sign on the machine to let people know that you marked something down. You can also post signs when you put new products in the machines as well. Chances are someone will see your sale sign and not only purchase the item that’s on sale, but end up buying other items as well. Score!