Vending machines, once a source of fascination for many have started gaining traction in India. Now when someone mentions vending machine in India, it no longer gets a surprised look. These automated mini retail outlets have found their way into numerous public and commercial spaces across India. Even offices have started keeping snack and beverage vending machines for their employees.
But have you ever wondered what lies ahead for these magical machines? Do they hold promising opportunities for both customers and operators alike? In this blog post, we will discuss the future of vending machines in India. Additionally, we will provide valuable tips to consider before buying a vending machine in India.
Vending Machine Scenario in India
The Indian Vending Machine Market is currently experiencing a significant boom, driven by the growing demand for on-the-go snacks and beverages.
This trend is fueling product sales through vending machines, making it a thriving industry. Projections indicate that the Indian vending market is set to maintain this impressive growth, with an anticipated Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.7% from 2020 to 2026.
For consumers, this presents a clear win-win scenario, as they gain easy access to their favourite products anytime, anywhere.
However, the appeal of vending machine businesses extends beyond customers; it also holds great promise for operators. With low initial investments and attractive returns, vending machines are emerging as a viable business option for budding entrepreneurs looking to make their mark in the business world.
In India, we have predominantly seen basic vending machines, such as snack vending machines, soda vending machines or coffee vending machines. Yet, as the demand for convenience continues to surge, we can expect diverse vending machines entering the market. Let’s delve into some exciting possibilities for the future of vending machines:
Automatic Vending Machines: A Game Changer
All you have to do is press a few buttons and wait! Automatic vending machines take care of the rest. Yes, it’s entirely possible! Thanks to ever-evolving technology, vending machines are getting smarter and automatic vending machines are a prime example. Now, you might be wondering what these machines are all about and how they operate. Well, you’re inquisitive minds and we’re here to answer your curiosity!
These machines are like miniature stores in themselves, with each slot carefully designed to accommodate the product you want to showcase. This means you can display items of all shapes and sizes, from dainty cufflinks to hefty computers! Moreover, the dispensing process is incredibly gentle, ensuring that products are never dropped. These machines are versatile and can be placed anywhere and they work around the clock, 24X7. With the exception of restocking, all processes are automated. All you need to do is make a payment, select your desired product through the user-friendly touch screen interface and within seconds, your chosen items will be dispensed to you. It’s that simple!
Smart Vending Machines
Automatic vending machines were a breeze to use, especially for customers, but these smart vending machines take it a step further. These machines come equipped with connected vending management systems, allowing operators to oversee their vending machines from anywhere. So, what exactly can you do with these vending management systems?
Provide different payment options to customers:
Customers love businesses that prioritise convenience and provide them with reasons to keep coming back to you. Smart vending machines take convenience to the next level by enabling various payment methods such as UPI, digital wallets, net banking and more. These machines accept a wide range of payment forms, granting your customers the flexibility and ease they desire.
Get real-time inventory updates:
Say you are travelling but still want to look after your vending machine business- well, now you can. With the vending software integrated with these smart vending machines, you can get real-time inventory updates directly to your phone. You will be alerted when your stock is running low or when someone makes a purchase from your vending machine and with these updates, you can take immediate action to restock or address any issues as they arise.
Collect data on consumer behaviour:
Taking a step further in your data collection efforts can yield invaluable insights into consumer behaviour. Imagine not only knowing when a product is purchased but also understanding individual consumer habits. Let’s consider Customer X as an example. If they buy a coffee every day at 11:00 a.m., collecting this data opens up a world of possibilities for your business. With this data in hand, you can: customise your product offerings, run personalised promotions and offer targeted discounts.
Customised Vending Machines for Any Products
Custom vending machines are gaining popularity in India, especially among businesses looking to differentiate themselves and offer unique products or services. These machines can be tailored to meet specific requirements, whether you’re selling niche products or aiming to provide a distinctive vending experience. You can buy a vending machine for:
In urban areas where access to fresh fruits and vegetables can be limited, in such cases fresh produce vending machines are making it easier for people to make healthier choices.
With the increasing focus on healthcare, medicine vending machines can be very helpful. These machines dispense over-the-counter medications, making it convenient for consumers to access essential healthcare products.
In educational institutions and libraries, book vending machines can be a popular choice. Students and book enthusiasts can borrow or purchase books at any time, promoting reading culture.
Yes you heard right! You can even sell gold. There is a vending machine in Dubai Mall, UAE that dispenses 24-karat gold in 320 different forms: gold bars, coins and even jewellery.
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg, you can have custom vending machines for literally anything! With these opportunities you can provide customers with products of their choice, increasing your chances of higher sales and profit.
Consider These 4 Factors Before Buying a Vending Machine
If you’re considering investing in a vending machine in India, you have several options for procurement. It’s essential to choose the right supplier based on your specific needs. Here are some avenues to explore:
- Type of vending machine: Start with thorough market research and data analysis, identify your target audience and select the vending machine that will give caters best to your target audience for instance, if you’re aiming at young adults between the ages of 18 to 24, consider vending machines stocked with healthy snacks and juices.
- Location: The placement of your vending machine is crucial. Opt for high-traffic locations to increase visibility and sales potential. If your target demographic is the 18-24 age group, consider placing your vending machine near colleges and schools.
- Ease of use: Before you buy vending machines, check how user-friendly the vending machine is, especially from the customer’s perspective. The easier it is for customers to use, the more comfortable they’ll feel, increasing the likelihood of repeat business.
- Features provided: In a world moving toward automation and the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s vital that the vending machine you choose offers advanced features. Look for machines that can accept various payment options, making transactions convenient for customers. Consider vending machines equipped with vending software that includes remote tracking features. This allows you to monitor your machine’s performance and inventory remotely. Data analytics and reporting systems are essential for understanding customer preferences and optimising your product selection.
The vending machine landscape in India is undergoing rapid evolution, driven by the rise of automatic vending machines, customised solutions and vending management systems. Whether you’re a business owner seeking to broaden your product offerings or an aspiring entrepreneur considering entry into the vending machine market, looking at these developments is vital for achieving success. As technology continues to advance, vending machines are poised to become even more seamlessly integrated into the daily lives of Indians, delivering convenience and an extensive array of products and services to consumers nationwide.
By following the tips in this blog post, you can choose the right vending machine for your needs, install it properly and manage it effectively.