Traditional vending machines offer a convenient, low-cost choice for purchasing snacks and beverages. As technology improves and tastes evolve, people are more demanding about what they expect from these machines. But vending services have done a good job keeping up with the times. They have progressed from old-school, pull-knob candy machines into high-tech pieces of equipment that remotely monitor inventory and take various forms of payment (including mobile pay apps on your phone).
Here are three big trends in traditional vending services that are changing the way vending service providers work with their customers.
An alternative to traditional vending, a micro market has a convenience store feel that is set up within the workplace. Products are displayed in coolers and on shelving racks. Employees simply come in at any time and choose from a variety of beverages, snacks, complete meals, and more. Payments are made easy by scanning products at a self-checkout kiosk and paying with cash, debit/credit card, or a smartphone app.
Businesses are gravitating towards micro markets because they offer a way to express a welcoming corporate culture and provide healthy alternatives to traditional vending or breakroom setups. A vending service can customize your micro market based on the size of your company, the products your employees desire, and the atmosphere you want to create in your breakroom.
If you have more than 25 employees, a micro market may be an option for your business.
More and more companies are implementing wellness initiatives and vending services are keeping up with the movement. People are demanding a wider variety in food and beverage choices—items that are lower in sugar, calories, and fat. In fact, many states, counties, and cities around the U.S. have implemented their own regulations that mandate a percentage of products in vending machines be healthy.
Vending services are responding to the request for healthy options not only with the micro market concept, but also with refrigerated glass-front vending machines that sell fresh fruit, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and nutritional drinks.
In order for vending services to keep up with demand, they must also keep up with advancements in technology. The most noticeable trends in vending technology deal with payment and monitoring inventory.
As we move away from cash-based pay, vending machines have added the ability to pay by credit or debit card and mobile wallet apps such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. By moving with the times, vending services have expanded their customer base by simply expanding payment options.
Some vending services offer a dedicated debit card for vending purposes. With this card, you can transfer money from your bank to your vending fund (card). When you make a purchase, that amount is deducted from your card. A vending card is a great way to budget for lunch and snack spending, plus you have the ability to look online at your purchases, view how much items cost, and check out product nutritional information.
Vending machines are now built with remote machine monitoring technology (RMM). This means the vending unit is capable of transmitting data concerning equipment function and inventory to the vending service provider. Data collected includes product count, sales, and mechanical issues. RMM technology increases the efficiency of the vending service. They can proactively optimize restocking, eliminate sold-out items, improve product selection, and save time and money.
While vending services are doing their best to keep up with consumer and technology trends, your need for good service remains constant. Consult with a vending service provider today. They will create a product and service plan to meet the unique needs of your business.
Simply fill out our form and 360Connect will put you in touch with reputable vending service providers in your area. It’s that easy.