NAMA Show 2023: The Future of Refreshment Services
Taylor Hicks / May 24, 2023
The NAMA show, hosted by the National Automatic Merchandising Association in Atlanta, brought together leaders, innovators, and enthusiasts in the refreshment services industry. The VendCentral team had the privilege of exploring the trade show floor, attending panels, and networking with key players in the industry. From exciting innovations found at “Imagination Way” to the launch of new products, the show left a lasting impression.
Interested in learning more about the world of possibilities for the industry’s future? Keep reading to discover a few of the show’s highlights, latest product trends, and more!
Coffee, Coffee, & More Coffee!
Office coffee took center stage at the NAMA Show, capturing the attention of attendees at every turn. The Emblem bean-to-cup coffee brewer was ever-present with its exceptional on-demand brewing capabilities. Definitely, a staple to include on your office coffee equipment roster. National brands and local coffee roasters, including Segafredo, Seattle’s Best, Starbucks, Ellis Coffee Company, Bodecker Brewed, and more kept everyone fueled throughout the 3-day show.
Additionally, the popularity of on-the-go coffee options, including nitro brew, cold brew, and canned coffee is undeniable. Brands such as RISE, La Colombe, Wandering Bear, and Costa Coffee made a significant impact, offering unique coffee drinking experiences for attendees.
Bubbling with Excitement: NAMA Beverage Takeaways
The NAMA Show showcased the latest trends in the beverage industry. It came as no surprise that energy drinks continued to dominate. Well-established brands like Red Bull, Celsius, Monster, and C4 Energy drew substantial attention. However, the show also provided a platform for up-and-coming brands such as Alani Nu, PHOCUS, UpTime, and Sparkling Ice Energy Drinks to make their mark.
Better-for-you beverages were another highlight of the event. Healthy soda alternatives like Poppi, Zevia, and Good Mood made their debut, captivating attendees with their healthier and more flavorful options for the refreshment services market.
New-Age Vending Equipment & Technology
In the realm of vending equipment, the NAMA show revealed groundbreaking innovations. For example, Just Baked’s hot food kiosk was a must-see. Offering a wide range of delicious meal and dessert options, you can select, pay, and be eating in minutes. The convenience and quality of these hot and fresh treats left a delightful and memorable impression on everyone’s taste buds.
Supply Wizards Supply Wizards wowed the crowd with their revolutionized online ordering process. Their user-friendly software seamlessly integrates with operators’ Vending Management Systems (VMS), making invoicing and tracking inventory a simple task! On average, operators have seen an increase in order sizes by 24% when using Supply Wizards for their online ordering. Therefore, this product is ideal for operators looking to grow their office coffee and pantry services!
ZippyAssist ZippyAssist emerged as a game-changer, enabling vending operators to provide immediate support to customers. With simple-to-use features like instant refunds and maintenance requests, they’ve streamlined customer service. This text-based platform accessed from a customer’s mobile phone is helping operators across the globe enhance their unattended retail experience.
Embracing the NAMA Show Momentum
Overall, the NAMA show was a resounding success leaving operators inspired by new ideas and technology for the refreshment service industry. From the aroma of freshly brewed coffee to the introduction of cutting-edge vending equipment, this event set the stage for a future of innovation and growth. The VendCentral team looks forward to implementing the lessons learned and supporting the members of our industry through comprehensive marketing services.
VendCentral is solely focused on the refreshment services industry. Contact us to learn how our marketing programs can help your business GROW!
Want Better Vending Customer Service in 30 Days? Try ZippyAssist!
Emily / May 15, 2023
ZippyAssist strengthens the biggest concern of vending customers – service. Its cutting-edge technology opens a connection between you and your customers, 24/7. It builds trust in self-service and unattended retail, driving up sales and retention. And it doesn’t take long before vending machine and micro-market users know about it. It turns a service issue into a chance to give great customer service!
Keep reading to find out exactly what ZippyAssist is and its many benefits.
Speedy Customer Service
ZippyAssist is a mobile-first customer support and engagement platform. That means your customers can use their smartphones to reach out to you about the refreshment services in their breakroom. It is simple to use and provides the immediate support that your customers want. In other words, ZippyAssist builds trust and consumer confidence!
Consider ZippyAssist Your Virtual Assistant
Simply by texting, customers can let you know what’s happening in the break room. ZippyAssist collects the info and reports it to you. Customers may ask for a new product. Or, they could send details about an issue keeping them from being able to buy. Whatever it is, ZippyAssist is there to make the exchange simple and positive.
Say Hello to “One-Click” Refunds
One of the best features of ZippyAssist is how easy it is to issue a refund. After all, stuck products and kiosk malfunctions happen. Customers get upset if their money isn’t returned fast.
ZippyAssist makes it easy and simple to give a refund. Minutes after receiving a request for a refund, you can issue it using a mobile payment app. Give the user money via Paypal, Venmo (US only), Cheque/cash, or Zelle (coming soon). The refund happens in an instant, making the customer happy.
Try ZippyAssist Yourself!
There’s no better way to see what it can do for your refreshment services company than try it yourself. Text: 1011 to 925-744-7770. You’ll be directed to a link that shows exactly what customers see. You can get help, give feedback, or even learn more about the features and benefits.
Get ZippyAssist for Your Break Room Services Company
Don’t let poor customer service be the reason any of your clients switch. Get ZippyAssist to show decision-makers you’ve invested in high-quality service. Plus, it’s a great tool to show facility managers and human resource professionals. Now they don’t need to deal with refunds, plus, it offers a better staff experience. That’s a winning combo.
Don’t hesitate to boost sales and client retention. Reach out to VendCentral today about ZippyAssit. Contact us at (866) 699-8363 or visit us online.
Blog! Why Your Breakroom Services Company Needs to be Blogging.
Emily / April 25, 2023
Blogging can help you get more vending and breakroom service leads. In fact, small business resource Fit Small Business reports that businesses that blog get 67% MORE leads per month. That significant boost in leads makes blogging a huge return on investment.
6 Benefits You Get From Blogging
What makes blogging so successful? What brings all those breakroom service leads? It’s a combination of factors, from better search engine optimization (SEO) to being considered a breakroom expert. Keep reading for more details on the 6 benefits of writing a vending website blog. Trust us; you won’t want to miss them!
1. Increase Website Traffic
Blogging helps people find your website. Keywords used in a blog, like vending and breakroom, are “seen” by search engines. That makes your blog and website more likely to show in search results; therefore, more people will find your company while shopping online for breakroom services.
2. Blogging Drive Conversions
Your vending-related blog is a great place to show customers and prospects your knowledge of breakroom services. And that knowledge can lead to conversions, where users fill out an online form or sign up for an email list. After all, when you want a product or service, you go to a company that knows its stuff. So, show off your expertise by publishing blogs!
3. Contribute to Social Media Efforts
Every company needs a social media presence. If you don’t have one, you should. But let’s assume you do have one. Blogging gives you more items to post about. Yes, it’s true. You can promote your latest article with a nice photo to engage your audience and drive traffic to your website. It’s a win-win! But don’t forget to include a link to the blog. Why? Because a direct link encourages clicks and reads without any leg work from the audience. Doing this also helps boost your SEO score and can help your website climb to the top of the search results.
4. Build Trusting Client Relationships
Just as knowledge of quality refreshment solutions drives conversion, it also builds trust. Blogging about services like micro-markets or office coffee shows your customers you are devoted to your businesses. In turn, they are more likely to trust you with their service needs.
Plus, it lets you show off what you can bring to your customers. And who doesn’t love that? Writing blogs about specific break rooms you’ve installed will help your audience understand what you do and what their break room could look like.
5. Reinforce Your Brand
Don’t forget what your blog can do for your brand. Most people, including human resource professionals and facility managers, prefer doing business with companies they recognize and trust. So, make sure they know your company with a blog tone and look that follows your branding plan.
6. Differentiate a Business From Its Competition
Not all vending companies blog. And that’s to your advantage. Blogging sets you apart from the competition. But even if your local competitors do have a blog, you can still use yours to stand out. Ensure your blog has a personal touch, introducing readers to your brand. Cover local issues, seasonally relevant topics, and the service and products that make you the best choice for breakroom services.
The Time to Start Blogging is Now!
Blogging is an important marketing tool. It brings in readers who can convert to breakroom service leads and sales. The key is consistency and industry knowledge, ensuring appropriate keywords appear throughout the blog for maximum results.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry; our team of marketing experts can help! VendCentral offers different levels of support for vending marketing. Contact us at (866) 699-8363 or visit us online.
Creating A New Vending Website? Here’s What You Need To Know
Emily / April 12, 2023
When it’s time for your vending company to create a new website there’s a lot to consider. After all, this is where facility managers and human resource managers learn about your company. The new website needs to showcase your brand identity and offer everything your current customers and prospects want to learn.
To get you started, here are some of our new vending website MUSTS.
Start With Services & Products
A clear message about what your vending company offers must be front and center. That means links for each service. In fact, each service should have at least one dedicated webpage. Focus on showing the service with great-looking custom pictures. Plus, include short descriptions that tell why the service is a benefit.
Enhance the User Experience
For business-to-business (B2B) websites like yours, it’s important to optimize the customer experience. Ensure information is up-to-date, links work, and most importantly, everything loads quickly. Nothing frustrates potential clients more than a website that takes several seconds to load (or never does).
It is also critical your new website displays well on a mobile device. Statista reports that 16% of B2B website traffic was from mobile in 2022. The number is growing, suggesting that mobile devices will be used more in the future. Don’t miss a sale because you’re counting on a desktop user! Ensure your website is mobile-optimized.
A New Vending Website Needs Custom Content
Your vending website needs to show who you are as a company. That means personalization. Be open to including photos of your team, warehouse, and the breakrooms you service. Having more than stock photos on your website will help decision-makers relate to your business. A great place to personalize is an About Us page, which can tell your company’s story.
On your new website, don’t forget to create a space for blogs. Writing a blog is a great way to highlight your vending business’ personality, showcase the breakroom services you offer, and help your search engine optimization (SEO).
Generate Leads With a New Vending Website
Your website acts as a sales tool 24/7. Ensure it’s seen by focusing on services and custom content that is full of SEO keywords. That way prospects in your area find your refreshment services company.
Need to know more about what makes a good vending website? Ask VendCentral, the convenience services industry’s digital marketing experts. We offer different levels of marketing support to match your need. Learn more about how one of our vending marketing programs can drive sales by contacting us at email@example.com or (866) 699-8363.
The Power of Building Your Vending Business Network
Emily / March 23, 2023
Research shows there is power in building a network. Those who actively network get more jobs, opportunities, industry knowledge, and respect. That makes it a valuable skill and crucial to growing your vending company. With that being said, networking looks different today than in the past. In fact, it can happen in many ways, including social media, trade shows, cold calling, or in-person meetings.
But what is networking, exactly? And how can you do it well? Read on to find out.
What is Networking?
To put it simply, it means talking to people. For instance, you might talk to them about trends or breakroom ideas. At other times you might talk about your services and how they fit their needs. This is the best kind of networking because it adds value to both people.
What Does Building a Network Look Like?
It’s no surprise that networking can take place anywhere. However, building it with other vending operators and industry members will likely take place at a tradeshow, a community event, or a seminar. Think mingling during happy hour at conferences or talking to your dinner neighbor at a sponsored event. It can also happen at educational seminars. Showing genuine interest in what the presenters have to offer is sure to leave a lasting impression. Plus, it opens the door to chatting with them and getting their contact information.
Don’t forget about posting and commenting on social media platforms. Yes, it’s a new(er) yet vital place to connect with people. For some, it’s preferred. According to Novorésumé, 40% of people would rather network online. So, get out there and post!
What are the Benefits?
Networking is good for your reputation. How, might you ask? First, it adds to your business profile, leading others to see you as well-informed. On the flip side, it can help you gain industry knowledge. For example, you might learn new solutions that enhance your vending services.
Additionally, every connection you make will “humanize” your company. People like to do business with other people, not companies. Therefore, your connections to people can lead directly to new customers and more prospects. It’s also a way to showcase your brand and boost loyalty. That ultimately helps you can gain referrals and drive-up sales!
Network Often, Everywhere, to Win
In summary, networking is a must to grow your vending business naturally. Don’t wait. Start building your vending network now and reap the rewards.
Want some help with online networking? VendCentral has digital sales and marketing experts ready to assist. Our team specializes in the vending, micro-market, pantry, and office coffee service industry to help you grow sales. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or (866) 699-8363.
Why Vending Promotions and Contests Work
Emily / March 9, 2023
Running a vending contest or promotion for your vending customers offers many benefits. Both can boost excitement about your services as well as build loyalty to your brand. In addition, using social media for your promotional efforts can enhance engagement and gain you followers.
Read on for a look at how vending contests and promotions can increase your vending sales.
One reason to run a vending business promotion or contest is to create excitement. Why does it work? Because people love a chance to win. That means they will want to enter a drawing or buy a certain product to get a discount. It gets people excited to use your services and enjoy the products you’re offering. That drives up sales at your machines and markets.
People are looking for connections and brands to follow. In fact, a survey by Merkle in 2021, showed that over 80% of consumers want to form a relationship with a brand. And, these customers are willing to go out of their way to buy from brands they are loyal to. Promotions and contests give your customers something to be excited about. They can connect to you through a contest or promotion and ultimately become loyal customers.
Online contests and promotions that use social media are great ways to engage your customers. Social media makes it easy to post about promotions and contests. It’s also easy for your audience to react. They can follow a link to a contest page or post their thoughts on it instantly. Doing so shows that they want to engage with your vending company. And an engaged customer spends more and is more loyal.
Grow Your Following
Having followers on your social media strengthens your vending marketing efforts. It means more people will see your brand and messaging. This includes facility managers and human resource professionals.
Hosting online contests and promotions is a tried and true way to get more followers. People want more opportunities to play and win. Therefore, they will like and follow your company to get them. Plus, they are likely to share the contest or promotions with their social media connections. Who might then also become your followers. It’s a great way to get leads and grow awareness of your vending operation.
Give promotions and contests a try. There’s little risk and lots of rewards. You gain exposure, followers, loyalty, increased sales, and leads.
Struggling with time and resources to make vending contests a reality? VendCentral can help. We help vending operators increase sales with successful branding, marketing, and sales strategies. Contact us at email@example.com or (866) 699-8363.
Testimonials and Reviews can Increase Your Vending Sales
Emily / February 22, 2023
Testimonials and Reviews are akin to word-of-mouth marketing. And we all know how important word-of-mouth is to a vending business. Testimonials from happy vending customers are a top way to get new vending customers. And a nonpartial third-party review strongly impacts a decision maker’s buying process. So, how do you make the most of a client’s testimonial or review? And how do you get more?
Share Testimonials on Your Website
One of the first places a prospective client visits is your website. And because as many as 93% of buyers read reviews, displaying testimonials on your website is a must. Ask your long-term customers to send you a statement about their experiences with your company and services. Let them know that you plan to share it on your website. For even more impact, include a picture of your customer along with their statement. This helps show prospects that the testimonial is from a real person.
Don’t be tempted to create testimonials on a client’s behalf. Make sure every testimonial is authentic. Overly positive or promotional reviews will stand out. Savvy decision makers will see right through them.
Ask for Reviews on Social Media
A prospect who does research on your vending company will look on your website. But that’s not all. They will look elsewhere online for feedback too. That’s why reviews on your Google Business Listing and social media are also critical. An active Google Business Listing with lots of reviews will also gain a higher SEO.
Make it easy for clients to share their honest opinions by sending them a link to your Google Business Listing. Don’t worry about imperfect reviews. It is a chance to engage a client and turn the situation around. Do not be tempted to pay for reviews or to reward customers for submitting them. The feedback on your Google Business Listing should be organic and people should be inclined to leave them without incentives or rewards.
Video reviews are also becoming more and more popular. If you’re visiting a customer who is raving about your service, ask to record them. Use your smartphone for a quick video review of the happy customer. Then post it to social media. It’s a great way to spread the word about your stellar service.
Get Testimonials. Gain Leads.
Testimonials and reviews by a customer can impact future sales. Make sure your vending business is getting the leads it deserves by focusing on your testimonials and online reviews. If you want to grow your business through testimonials, reviews, and other digital marketing strategies, VendCentral can help. We offer various digital marketing plans created just for breakroom service providers. Call us at (866) 699-8363 or reach us online.
Which Vending Marketing Program is Right for You?
Jen / January 26, 2023
A vending marketing program is your secret weapon for growing sales. It’s crucial for driving leads to your website. And for changing prospects into customers. A vending marketing program will drive new buyers to you! It will also spur upgrades with your existing customers.
Vending operators who want to stay focused on their daily tasks turn to VendCentral for marketing help. If fact, it’s why we created our vending marketing programs. All of our marketing programs include a brand-new, mobile-friendly website to attract more leads and convert more customers. They also include top-notch social media content to engage your audience online. But, our sales and marketing programs offer lots of other benefits too. Looking for more leads and more sales? Keep reading, because this guide will help you decide what vending marketing program is right for you.
The Works – a COMPLETE vending marketing program
Looking for a program that is completely personalized for your business? A program that drives sales? One that includes all aspects of digital and print marketing? This program is for you. Clients on our COMPLETE sales and marketing program rely on us to handle it all!
To start, we craft a sales and marketing strategy based on our COMPLETE clients’ unique needs and growth plans. From that, we develop their monthly promotional schedule. These clients work closely and regularly with their VendCentral marketing account manager to fine tune their marketing strategy throughout the year.
Clients on our COMPLETE program have the most robust website growth plan for top SEO results. They also receive the most social media and blog content. Plus, it’s all customized for their business. We help these clients tap into the power of social media to grow their audience and reach. Press releases and design services for email and print campaigns are included too. It is our highest tier program. But COMPLETE clients consider it a valuable investment that pays off big for company sales growth.
The Assist – a CORE program
For vending operators that need only a bit of marketing help, we offer the CORE vending marketing program. In this program, our marketing account managers focus on generating content to help our CORE clients get top search results. Blogs and social media posts concentrate on industry topics and promote our clients’ services and expertise. They contain great SEO keywords but minor customization.
The CORE program appeals to clients looking to establish an online presence, improve search rankings, and grow their websites over time. It works best when complemented by a member of your own team who can add personalized content.
The Best of Both – a CUSTOM program
Take all the benefits of CORE, pair them with several great options from COMPLETE, and you’ll get our CUSTOM program. This is our most popular program with good reason. It is a semi-custom approach that highlights what sets your vending business apart from competitors.
We work together with our CUSTOM clients to create promotional plans. These include both industry-related and personalized content. Website growth is also emphasized in this program to maximize SEO. Clients on the CUSTOM marketing program also get ZippyLead, a website IP tracker tool that can increase vending sales. It does this by capturing valuable contact information about website visitors.
Our VendCentral marketing account managers collaborate closely with our CUSTOM clients for maximum impact and maximum lead generation.
What Type of Vending Marketing Program Do You Need?
Looking to grow your vending sales? Want to stay focused on your operations? We have a marketing program that fits your needs. From full-scale sales and marketing to a more simplified approach, VendCentral will help you succeed.
Contact VendCentral today for more details on our vending marketing programs. We will help you find the best fit for your business. Call us at (866) 699-8363 or reach us online.
Social Media Helps Grow Your Vending Business: Here’s Why
Emily / January 12, 2023
The vending industry is buzzing about social media. With good reason! A solid social media presence gives vending businesses some unique benefits. What benefits, you ask? Read on for the top reasons why social media helps your vending operation thrive.
Increases Traffic to Your Website
Social media posts can drive people back to your website with links for more info. And your website is a sales tool open 24-7. That means social media posts are part of a good sales strategy.
Drives SEO Ranking
Social media posts and YouTube videos rank with search engines. That means more hype for your services, photos, videos, etc. That’s marketing gold. Just make sure to include helpful keywords, like your city name and vending service offering.
Showcases your work
Social media lets you highlight what you do and how well you do it. Plus, you can talk about the benefits of your services in bite-size posts. That will help customers remember them. Social media is a great place to show real-world breakroom pictures. This gives potential clients visual examples of how you can improve their breakroom. It can also help upgrade your existing vending customers to a brand-new micro-market.
Helps Recruit Skilled Staff
Posting a job on social media helps you announce your open jobs to candidates. It also makes it a lot easier for them to see you’re hiring. Professional networking sites, like LinkedIn, can even reveal people with specific skill sets. These are skills you may need to help your vending operation grow.
Reinforces your brand
Well-crafted social media posts can be terrific branding. They show people who you are and what your company stands for. Customers like to do business with a company they can connect with. Social media gives them more chances to understand and connect with yours.
It’s not enough to have a logo and some images on social media. There’s a strategy for getting the many benefits a social media presence offers. Posting frequently and personalizing your content are two important components. Engaging with customers, prospects, and other industry professionals on social media is key too.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the need to create and maintain a social media presence, there is help. VendCentral’s team of digital sales and marketing experts is dedicated to the breakroom services industry. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or (866) 699-8363 to grow your vending sales and stay current online.
Marketing vs. Branding: What’s the Difference?
Emily / December 7, 2022
Understanding marketing vs. branding is important for vending sales success. The two are different aspects of a single strategy used to tell others about your company and its services. Together they create a base for communicating strong, consistent messaging to existing customers and prospects. And growing sales revenues.
Keep reading to understand the difference between marketing and branding. How they both work together. Plus, learn which one needs to come first.
Marketing is promoting your vending company and the services and products you offer potential customers. Your company website, sales brochures, promotional emails, radio or internet advertisements, and even social media posts are all essential ways to market your company. Marketing strategies evolve over time to focus on different aspects of your business. And to support changing sales goals. Marketing often capitalizes on how your business leads when it comes to new and fresh vending products and equipment, emerging technologies, seasonal changes, and industry trends.
Marketing is critical to sales. It spreads the word about your services. It promotes what sets you apart from your competitors. And finally, it reinforces why you are the best choice for breakroom services in your service area. A successful marketing strategy will bring customers into your sales funnel and deliver more leads.
Branding, on the other hand, is about shaping your vending company’s identity to represent its core goals and purpose. Branding is a strong reflection of your company’s personality and it is how people will identify and remember your company as a whole. Good branding keeps your target audience in mind and helps them establish trust in your business. Branding includes everything from your company logo and taglines to the core narrative about your company’s foundation, purpose, and goals. Branding gives your vending operation meaning and character. Through it, customers will understand who you are and what makes your business unique.
Branding Must Come First
Marketing is the most effective way to spread your message and promote your business, but you must understand the message you’re spreading first. That is why establishing your company’s branding is an important first step. Solid branding will help shape your marketing initiatives and keep them consistent in look, feel, and context. Take the time to establish your vending company’s brand identity. It will help your company define what to say, where to say it, and the goals of your marketing campaigns.
As you can see, marketing and branding are closely tied but distinctly different. You must first understand what you want to say to communicate effectively. Starting with solid branding is the best way to optimize your vending marketing and grow your sales.
Are you a vending operator struggling with branding or marketing? VendCentral specializes in helping vending operators increase sales with successful branding, marketing, and sales strategies. Reach out at email@example.com or (866) 699-8363.