If you’re looking at getting into the business of selling, leasing and installing vending machines at customer locations, you are probably wondering who the target market for vending machines is?
You will also want to know which consumers are most likely to buy products from your vending machines and what type of institutions and organizations (i.e. your customers) will be willing to carry a vending machine on their site.
Additionally, you will need to decide the type of vending machine to install and the products that you will offer in them. Your target market will vary depending on the type of vending machine you sell.
Finally, you will need to understand the factors based on which a customer will agree to buy or lease a vending machine from you.
In this article, we’ll cover these topics so that you better understand the true target market for vending machines.
Types of Vending Machines
Our analysis of the target market for vending machines will not be complete without understanding the possible types of vending machines that you could offer your customers. When we refer to a type of vending machine we refer to what it carries.
Here are the different types of vending machines that you could propose to your customers:
- Food vending machines
- Drink vending machines
- Cigarette vending machines
- Product vending machines
1. Food vending machines
Food Vending Machines are the most common type of vending machines. They can vend almost any type of food, including snacks, candy, drinks, ice cream, and more. These machines are usually found in high foot traffic areas, such as shopping malls, airports, and train stations.
One of the benefits of having a food vending machine is that you can target a wide range of customers with different needs. For example, someone who is looking for a quick snack before their flight will be more likely to use a vending machine than someone who is looking for a sit-down meal.
2. Drink vending machines
These types of vending machines usually only vend drinks, such as water, sports drinks, juices, soda, and energy drinks. They are often found in the same locations as food vending machines but can also be found in office buildings and other workplaces, as well as in gyms and cafes.
3. Cigarette vending machines
Cigarette vending machines are usually only found in locations where smoking is allowed, such as bars and nightclubs. They are often used by customers who have run out of cigarettes and are looking for a quick way to buy more.
4. Product vending machines
Product vending machines can vend a wide variety of products like books, clothes, toys, and more. Product vending machines often target specific customer groups, such as students or parents with young children.
They are usually found in locations where their target customer group is likely to be, such as schools, hospitals, travel hubs, hotels and shopping malls.
The Target Market for Vending Machines: Who Buys Vending Machines?
The target market for vending machines includes locations with sufficient footfall of potential customers who are looking to quickly and easily buy a snack or a drink.
This includes the following types of institutions and organizations:
- Shopping malls
- Travel Hubs
- Gyms and sports clubs
- Gas Stations
Let’s look at each of these different types of potential customers of a vending machine business.
1. Shopping malls
Shopping malls are ideal for vending machines that vend snacks, drinks and products. Customers who are shopping at malls are already in the mindset of buying things, so they are more likely to make a purchase from a vending machine.
Furthermore, malls exist to sell things to consumers and so convincing the management of a shopping mall to install your vending machines will be easier than convincing other types of institutions.
Offices are another great target market for vending machines. Offices usually have a lot of people working long hours with little time to go out and buy food or drinks.
Sometimes office workers just need a quick snack or drink to tide them over until lunchtime or the end of their day. Having vending machines in the office can help employees grab a snack without losing time.
Another important factor is that office workers are likely to have spare change on hand to make a purchase from a vending machine.
Factory workers usually have limited time to take breaks and so they will appreciate having vending machines that vend snacks and drinks close by. Companies are also usually glad to provide vending machines to their factory workers if it means that they will take fewer breaks and be more productive.
4. Travel Hubs
Travel hubs like airports, railway stations, and bus & coach terminals are another great target market for vending machines.
People who are traveling are often in a hurry and so they don’t have time to go out and buy food or drinks or to wait in line at a cafe or restaurant. Such travelers will appreciate having easy access to a vending machine.
If you’re planning to sell or lease a vending machine to an airport, remember that it needs to accept major credit cards, so that travelers can use them even if they don’t have any local currency.
Guests at hotels often want to buy things like cigarettes or snacks without having to go to the hotel lobby or restaurant. Also, vacation travelers are more likely to have some extra cash to spend on things like souvenirs or snacks.
And if they are in an unfamiliar place, they may not have easy access to a local store and would appreciate having a vending machine right in the hotel.
For these reasons, hotels can be a great target market for vending machines.
Cafes usually have customers who are looking for a quick snack or drink. These customers are already in the mindset of spending money and so are a great target market for vending machines.
Vending machines that are located in a cafe can offer additional products to its customers and add a new revenue stream to its business.
7. Gyms and sports clubs
After a workout or after playing sports, people often look for a quick drink or snack to replenish their energy. And so vending machines that carry healthy snacks and drinks can be a great addition to gyms, fitness centers, and sports clubs.
These vending machines can help people make healthy choices after a workout and provide additional revenue to the gym or club.
8. Gas stations
Customers at gas stations are often looking for a quick snack or drink while they are filling up their cars. Vending machines can offer products that are not available in the gas station’s store. Customers who stop for gas are often looking to pick up something to eat or buy and giving additional options through a vending machine can make it easier for the gas station owner to add revenue without adding more staff.
The target market for vending machines includes institutions and organizations which attract sufficient footfall of people looking to quickly buy something to eat or drink.
Vending machines can be a great addition to shopping malls, offices, factories, airports, hotels, cafes, gyms, and gas stations. Each of these locations has its own unique target market that can be exploited by a vending machine owner.
If you’re planning to get into the vending machine business, make sure you understand the needs of your customer but even more the needs of their customer – the persons who will buy something from the vending machine.
Equally, understand the pros and cons of the different types of vending machines and the value they can provide to the end customer.
Understanding your target market in its totality will be a prerequisite for success.