Is your vending machine business staying up to date with modern technology? With convenience and variety being crucial in today’s world, plus the rapid innovation in the unattended retail industry, outdated technology can hold businesses back. On the other hand, modernizing vending solutions can improve customer satisfaction, boost revenue, and keep your business at the forefront of innovation. Here are three clear signs it’s time to upgrade your vending machine business.

1. Declining Sales in High-Value Accounts 

Are your vending machines underperforming in historically great accounts? If sales do not reflect previous trends, it’s a clear sign your current machines are not meeting customer needs or expectations. As micro markets and smart stores deliver more product options in more places, bottles and bags might not cut it anymore.

vending machine business

To make the most of high-value locations, the technology you place should be able to offer quick and easy checkout in addition to diverse product selections. A vending machine may not always be the best choice.

If the location needs security, Smart cabinets and smart coolers have similar footprints to vending machines, but they use modern technology and a more flexible form factor. For example, you’re no longer beholden to vending machine spirals or slots. Instead, you can stock a shelf with virtually any product and utilize A.I. vision imaging to make purchases convenient and easy.

If the location does not need high security, a micro market can substantially increase your throughput if your location accommodates a large customer base. You can stock an array of high-demand products in a mixture of snack racks, coolers, and freezers. With kiosks that come in different sizes, you can scale to what your locations needs.

These alternatives will help you maximize your earnings from high-traffic locations. Give this ROI calculator a try to estimate your potential ROI when transitioning to smart coolers, smart cabinets, or micro market kiosks.

vending machine business

2. Increased Machine Issues 

Vending machines have a lot of moving parts, which means they have many potential points of failure. Bill jams, coin jams, motor issues, stuck products, and more can render the machine unusable. This downtime means missed sales. Plus, you will need to dedicate time to resolving and repairing the machine.

Over time (especially with older machines), machine issues happen more frequently. If you notice your machine is breaking down more than usual, it might be time for an upgrade.

Vending machine alternatives, like smart coolers, smart cabinets, and micro markets, are much less prone to failure. These technologies have minimal moving parts. Micro markets, for example, are a scan and go solution. The only point of potential failure is on the kiosk itself. And if there is an issue, often it can be remedied remotely, eliminating the need to visit in person.

Smart coolers and smart cabinets may be behind a locked door, but they too have virtually no moving parts. Customers simply issue payment, the door unlocks, they select their items, and go.

If machine issues and service calls are starting to plague your operation, consider an alternative. With more reliable technology, you can ensure uninterrupted sales while keeping your customers happy.

3. Difficulty Capturing New Accounts  

High-value accounts expect more than ever. In an increasingly competitive industry, closing new accounts can be difficult. Historically, pitching just vending machine services could land a great account. These days, great locations expect customized solutions, excellent service, and innovative technology.

By adding smart stores or micro markets to your portfolio, you can provide your accounts options that fit their specific needs. Offering these services alongside more traditional business lines, like office coffee or pantry service, can position your business as a one-stop-shop for your account.

Plus, smart stores have the benefit of offering both high security and product diversity. As a result, this opens doors to new accounts needing both. Gyms, hospitals, hotels, college campuses, and other non-traditional vending accounts can be ideal fits for smart coolers or smart cabinets.

vending machine business

The Bottom Line  

Upgrading your vending machine business to micro market kiosks and smart store solutions is not just about keeping up with technological trends; it’s about providing a superior experience for customers and boosting your bottom line. If you notice a decline in sales in busy areas, increased machine issues, or find it difficult to close new business, it’s time to make a change.

365 Retail Markets technology is designed to solve these problems seamlessly. With options like the MM6, MM6 Mini, PicoCooler Vision, and Stockwell, our solutions are tailored to meet the diverse needs of businesses, enhance customer satisfaction, and maximize revenue. Embrace the future of unattended retail technology and watch your business thrive.

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