Optimizing product selection and comparing success with data
The modern vending landscape is no longer just about stocking machines with an assortment of salty and sugary products and hoping for the best. In today’s data-rich era, the key to vending success lies in carefully selected locations and products, backed by data-driven insights. In this first blog post of our four-part series, we’ll look at how Selfly Store helps businesses make smart choices and measure how well they’re doing.
1. The power of comparative data analysis
What causes an entire vending machine or a single product to be a hit in one location but barely noticed in another? Comparative data analysis – benchmarking – holds the key. Selfly Store uses data from across 21 European countries to figure out what works best. For example, we can see which snacks sell most often at what times and in which places. We can also compare how different locations and machines are doing, even if they’re run by the same owner. This helps our customers know what to offer in each machine to meet local tastes.
As a concrete example, we have used data to help customers within the hotel sector, by identifying and recommending products which will sell well all day and night. This is about setting high goals and picking the right products for 24/7 sales.
Picture 1: Data from the Selfly Cloud visualizing how a merchant’s revenue per cabinet benchmarks within the specific customer segment and with cabinets in the same (or any) country over different time periods.
Picture 2: Graphs from the Selfly Cloud showing sales data per hour. The data is based on Selfly Store cabinets in the Hotel segment.
2. Beyond bestsellers: The art of product balance
It’s easy to just stock the items that sell the most, but a good mix of products is the key to real success. Selfly Store’s data helps our customers see what kinds of products are over- and underrepresented in their sales statistics. It also shows which items often get bought together. If something isn’t selling, that means it’s probably not the right choice for that location. Our data can guide businesses to find better options that customers will like more.
For example, we’ve helped businesses that focus on office catering find out what types of products they’re missing. We keep in mind that people in different places like different things. We’ve also shown these businesses that machines in different locations perform differently. This suggests that they should customize their usual product list to better match what’s popular in each specific location.
Picture 3: Chart illustrating the number of items sold from a specific category over a selected time period. The data is based on a group of top selling Selfly Store merchants in the Workplace segment.
Picture 4: Data from the Selfly Cloud illustrating the bestselling product category combinations. The data is based on a group of top selling Selfly Store merchants in the Workplace segment.
3. The product recommendation engine
Selfly Store’s newest feature, which is currently tested with a pilot customer, is the Product Recommendation Engine. This engine uses vast datasets to suggest products that are likely to be popular in specific locations. It factors in a variety of elements, including historical sales, local preferences, weather patterns, and seasonal trends. For instance, if one snack sells better in one cabinet than another for the same client, the engine can help determine why, and thus assist businesses in tailoring their product offerings more effectively.
4. Real-time feedback for continuous improvement
The great advantage of data is that it provides instant feedback. If a new product, machine, or location falls short of expectations, Selfly Store’s real-time data monitoring not only identifies this issue but also provides deeper insights. Is the product not aligned with the typical best-sellers of the customer’s business segment? Or is there a systematic technical, operational or location related flaw? Such real-time feedback allows businesses to quickly refine their strategies, optimizing sales and customer satisfaction.
Wrapping up this post, it’s evident that data is the vending industry’s future foundation. From smart product and location choices, understanding sales nuances, to groundbreaking tools like the Product Recommendation Engine, data is the driving force. At Selfly Store, our mission is to arm our customers with the insights and resources required to flourish in this data-centric vending era.
Read more about our customer success.