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Something to Yelp About for Our Vending Industry

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By , July 26, 2017 9:34 am

This is a recent article about Yelp, perhaps a new marketing platform the vending industry hasn’t considered.

I have been known to lose sleep over business related headaches. Yelp, the very popular review website, has contributed to my sleeplessness in recent years – for good reason.

Yelp is best known for restaurant and hospitality reviews, but they are happy to allow anyone to submit a review in the Business to Consumer (B2C), or even the Business to Business (B2B) space, including coffee service, vending and micro markets.

This means that a disgruntled secretary for one of your clients, who did not get a coffee service delivery due to credit hold issues, can go on the Yelp site and describe your company as unreliable and your customer service people as rude. That one star rating will not help your image or your average rating.

At this point, you probably think I am anti-Yelp. I was, until I began to research this topic and discover the marketing opportunity that exists because of Yelp and our industry’s lack of attention to it.

More than ever – Yelp matters

Even the customer service people at Yelp will tell you privately that they do not belong in the B2B space. Unfortunately, they are in the game and it does matter. More than ever before, your prospective clients are checking your Yelp reviews before they meet with your account executive.

There are plenty of studies out there throwing out statistics about the importance of Yelp, including Michael Luca’s ongoing Harvard Business Review Study, “Reviews, Reputation, and Revenue: The Case of Yelp.com.” His big conclusion pertained to the restaurant and hospitality industry: “A one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9 percent increase in revenue.” Every “Online Reputation Consultant” will tell you that Yelp reviews are becoming more important in the B2B space.

I don’t disagree about the importance of Yelp – hence the sleepless nights. In fact, I did my own study and spoke to 10 office managers and facility managers asking the question, “Do you rely on Yelp reviews when you are sourcing a vendor?”

http://www.vendingmarketwatch.com/article/12353427/losing-sleep-over-yelp

Get the Scoop on Mobile Vending Business

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By , July 21, 2017 10:52 am

Get the scoop on how to have a successful mobile vending business with Carts Blanche

Does your vending business need help?

Are you thinking of starting a new vending business?

Let Carts Blanche roll you into business with our mobile automated vending CC store, Pop-Up Cafe.

Let SBA  help you with your business questions and help you grow your successful vending mobile business

https://www.sba.gov/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Path To Profits Vending Industry

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By , July 21, 2017 10:27 am

THE PATH TO PROFIT

This one sentence, which is their last one in this article, says it all…..begin today by keeping your vending customers needs 1st.

Developing a culture that keeps your customers’ needs front and center just makes business sense.

Kevin Barker, Southwest Region Manager

We recently had the opportunity to sponsor NAMA’s The Path to Profit seminar, which was held at the 2016 NAMA OneShow in Chicago.   As the Southwest Region Sales Manager, I’m always eager to further my understanding of how we can help educate our operators on what it means to deliver strategic value.  While I can’t go into all the ins and outs of everything that was covered, I will share with you what I thought were key takeaways from the event:

1. Understand the true value your organization brings to the table. 

Better stated, what is significant about your relationship with your customers?  The answer, being more focused on providing additional value and customer satisfaction than your competitors.  Keep in mind…value does not mean price.

2. Get paid for the benefit you provide your customers.  When discussing the value you provide, don’t simply say your main benefit is the ability to provide candy, snacks, and beverages. Frame up the benefit to your customers in a way that helps them see your strategic importance.  You’ll have more success if you say the benefit of using our company is to help  deliver on employee satisfaction and productivity by providing snacking solutions that appeal to and engage their employee base.

3. Create a culture of customer empathy within all levels of your organization.  Keeping your customers at the forefront of your decision making helps build loyal customers who in turn, help you deliver better business performance.  According to research shared during the seminar, customers who are loyal and feel you have exceeded their expectations are willing to pay up to 9% more for products and services. In addition, the cost of acquiring a new customer is 5-7 times more expensive than keeping an existing customer.

Developing a culture that keeps your customers’ needs front and center just makes business sense.

Check out Vistar’s website for more great info for the vending industry http://www.vistar.com/Resources/THE-PATH-TO-PROFIT.aspx

The Vending Race is On – Water Takes Over Soft Drinks

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By , July 3, 2017 7:01 pm

Vending Channel Sharpens Focus On Cold Drink Trends As Water Usurps Soda
Emily Jed   Emily@vendingtimes.net

Bottled water overtook carbonated soft drinks in 2016 as the largest beverage category by volume in the United States, following a decade-long streak of staggering growth, according to the latest research from New York City’s Beverage Marketing Corp. In vending, water does not hold the No. 1 spot for beverage giants PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, but it is a top-three seller for each. Vending executives from both companies say the historic milestone is just the latest indicator that the trend toward healthier, purer, natural beverages of all shapes and sizes is irreversible.

It’s been no easy challenge for workplace refreshment providers to stay attuned to the ever-expanding array of new-age beverage choices and emerging categories. But those who continue to pay close attention to the macro trends and up-and-coming brands and categories are positioned to strike the right balance, including the tried-and-true top-brand sodas that still have a following, to satisfy today’s masses.

Change Drivers   http://www.vendingtimes.com

Millennial consumers are the driving force stimulating the monumental shift away from traditional soft drinks. But even more significant for vending, is that this generation of young professionals is coming aboard, joining the industry and taking on decision-making roles. They’re taking a lead in accommodating the changing preferences of their own generation in vending and micromarkets without being restricted by prior assumptions, and they’re inspiring others to follow suit.
“The vending industry has been very resistant to change. For generations, operators knew that Diet Coke and Coke and Pepsi and Mountain Dew always sold so they didn’t look to change their offerings,” Steiner remarked. “I’m a millennial and I don’t drink soda; I primarily drink water and I’m surrounded by people in Elyssa Steiner, director of marketing for Cantaloupe Systems and chairperson of the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s Emerging Leaders Network, observed that a key factor behind food and beverage choices for millennials is their concern about what they put into their bodies and where it comes from. They also are willing to spend more for “healthier” beverages and are conditioned to making cashless purchases.

The vending industry has been very resistant to change. For generations, operators knew that Diet Coke and Coke and Pepsi and Mountain Dew always sold so they didn’t look to change their offerings,” Steiner remarked. “I’m a millennial and I don’t drink soda; I primarily drink water and I’m surrounded by people in my age group who drink huge amounts of low-calorie or no-calorie sparkling waters, along with other healthier drinks like coconut water. If operators aren’t carrying those types of beverages, especially in young, tech environments, they are missing a trend they should jump on.”

http://www.vendingtimes.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=737C17AB0E09499F90660557C93983AD&nm=Articles&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=4&id=8FF75900170D45AE947AE7A0EB02D81F

Convenience Store News Forecast on Beverage Sales

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By , July 3, 2017 6:37 pm

According to a recent beverage report on Convenience Store News,

The 2017 forecast for beverage dollar sales will increase 5.2 percent across the total industry. Per store it is anticipated that the dollar sales will increase 4.5 percent, and unit volume is expected to grow 4.1 percent. All of these figures are above the estimated results for 2016, says the site.

http://www.cstoredecisions.com/?s=BEVERAGE+SALES+FORECAST

The CSNews Forecast Study defines packaged beverages including carbonated soft drinks, bottled water, sports and energy drinks. Carbonated soft drinks are expected to remain relatively flat, while bottled water will see more growth in dollar sales per store, according to the report.

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