Vending Machines: All You Need to Know

A vending machine is an automated device that allows customers to purchase goods by inserting payment and receiving their chosen item without the need for human assistance. 

Today these vending machines are reshaping the way a common man sees a marketplace.

Vending machines are acing the 3As of consumer behavior- Availability, Affordability, and Accessibility.

Therefore, these machines are emerging as an essential player in the dream of digital transformation for India in its Amrit Kaal. 

No wonder, for management gurus, government officials, school, colleges, or even at common public spaces like metro stations or airports, vending machine is the buzzword. 

So, let’s delve into the world of vending machines.

Let’s unlock these vending machines and understand their design and functioning, their various types, and most importantly the reasons for their dramatic rise in India and across the globe.

In sum, all that you need to know about vending machines is right here at one stop! 

Unlocking Vending Machines: A Concept Note 

The concept of vending machines is simple yet effective: a customer selects a product from a variety of options displayed in the machine, inserts payment (usually coins, bills, or cards), and the machine dispenses the chosen item. 

However, these seemingly ordinary automated dispensers are actively changing the very tech landscape of India. Let us see how. 

  • Design and Functioning: Behind the smooth functioning of a vending machine is a robust network of hardware components and software designs.
  • The keypad acts like the brain where the central computer of the machine is located. It takes the information from the customers and directs the remaining components to function accordingly.
  • The payment is done through cash or cashless options. In the case of the latter, the QR facility offers the most convenient mode of payment.
  • The design of a vending machine is suited not just for the convenience of customers but also for its owners. Once the machine is bought and installed, the remaining tasks can easily be managed remotely.
  • For instance, the machine gives you daily/weekly/monthly reports of sales, helping you understand the sales patterns. The machine also gives you alerts about reminders to refill the products. And most importantly, the digital payments can be directly reflected in the owner’s bank accounts linked with the machine.

Types of Vending Machines

1. Payment Taking

In most commercial complexes or public spaces the type of vending machine is- Payment Taking.

There are a few vending machines that just accept coins and notes.

However, in the era of the UPI Revolution, when people are walking around only with phones and no wallets, cashless or hybrid mode of payment is the need of the hour.

2. Non-Payment Taking

Another type of vending machine is Non-Payment Taking. These are mostly found in office spaces, PGs, etc.

Tea and coffee vending machines are the most common types of non-payment-taking vending machines.

In the case of offices, snacks, and pre-cooked vending machines are available without any payment. These items can be dispensed directly on instruction from the customer.

  • Vending Machine Prices in India: In India, the price of vending machines ranges between Rs. 1,00,000 to Rs 3,00,000. Details of prices of different types of vending machines are given in the following table:

NameFeaturesBest UsePayment ModeCapacity UptoPrice
Wendor MiniAmbientMask, Sanitizers, Cigarette, Electronics, Condoms,Cosmetics, Medicines or any small itemsCash, Card, Cashless and RFID150Know Price
Wendor Ambient AmbientMask, Cosmetics, Sanitizers, Cigarette, Electronics, Condoms,Cosmetics, Medicines or any small itemsCash, Card, Cashless and RFID500Know Price
Wendor SlimCombo and RefrigeratedSnacks, Beverages, Dairy Products, Cosmetics, or any packaged items.Cash, Card, Cashless and RFID200Know Price
Wendor AtlasCombo and RefrigeratedSnacks, Beverages, Dairy Products, Cosmetics, or any packaged items.Cash, Card, Cashless and RFID500Know Price
Wendor TitanCombo and RefrigeratedSnacks, Beverages, Dairy Products, Cosmetics, or any packaged items.Cash, Card, Cashless and RFID400Know Price
Wendor Nova Non-Elevator, Combo and RefrigeratedSnacks, Beverages, Dairy Products, Cosmetics, or any packaged items.Cash, Card, Cashless and RFID400Know Price
Wendor Nova PlusElevator, Combo and RefrigeratedGlass Jars, Fresh Food, Fruits & Vegetables, Mobile, Phones, Cosmetics, Dairy products, Delicate Products and High Value ProductsCash, Card, Cashless and RFID400Know Price
Wendor Frozone Elevator and FrozenFrozen Foods, Ice-CreamCash, Card, Cashless and RFID400Know Price

Why is the Vending Machine Business on the Rise?

With advancements in technology, vending machines are including features such as touch screens, inventory tracking, and even interactive experiences.

The result of these remarkable features is a rapid rise in vending machine solutions across the globe. Other features 

The Everywhere Advantage

The wide locational reach of vending machines is yet another factor behind their popularity.

While India is still progressing towards such a wide web of vending machines, in most of the developed societies vending machines are found in every nook and corner.

They range from bustling urban centers to transportation hubs, office buildings, shopping malls, educational institutions to even remote locations.

No wonder, they have become the markers of modern society today. 

2. V is for Versatile

The ‘V’ of Vending Machines stands for the variety of goods it can dispense.

For instance, Wendor – manufacturer, and seller of one of the most premium vending machines in India, offers a plethora of varieties of vending machines. 

A single machine like Wendor Atlas can provide snacks, beverages, fresh food, fruit electronics, sanitizers, masks, PPE kits, gloves, or any packaged products.

Imagine the business prospect of owning something like this vending machine!

At the same time, if your interest lies in selling high-value products like mobile phones or delicate items like glass jars, Wendor Nova Plus is the solution for you.

Similarly, from Wendor Mini to Wendor Titan, the variety of products that a vending machine can dispense is enormous. 

  • Higher sales, Higher Profits – A simple logic of 24*7 operation means better sales than a conventional 9 to 9 shop. The diversity of products, an exciting interface, and a super speedy vending process (5 items at one go), further increase the sales rate.  Low operation and labor costs also increase the margin of profit. Most importantly, if you can escalate your machines into a franchise chain, then the profit coming out from economy of scale is enormous.
  • Even if you are a veteran vending machine business person, you still can up your game by installing Wendor Touch on your old machines. This is literally and figuratively the touch of the future for your older machines as it is a motherboard that can upgrade your system for the most modern features.

Therefore, countries like the United States and Japan are changing the face of their conventional marketplace by bringing a vending machine revolution to their countries.

The question, however, is: Is India ready for such a revolution? 

Let’s find out!

The Vending Machine Wave: Global Surges Reaching Indian Shores

Vending machines have ingrained themselves into the fabric of most of the developed society today. 

A Vending Machine Wonderland: Japan – The density of vending machines is astounding in Japan. They rank one in the world in per capita vending machines. 

UNIQLO, a famous retail chain in the country, has even opened a walk-in vending machine in Tokyo.

Here, customers can simply walk in, find the t-shirt of their choice, do the payment on their own, and receive their item.

No human interface, whatsoever, making the whole shop a giant vending machine in itself.

Japanese have always been keen on adopting and adjusting to state-of-the-art technologies and their wide usage of vending machines is one such example of the same.

uniqlo vending machine

Vending Machine Capital: The United States- If you talk about which country has the highest number of vending machines, that would be the U.S.A.

The first commercial usage of vending machines started in the States around the 1880s.

Here, the round-the-clock sale options offer the simplest way to multiply one’s revenue which is roughly around $100 per machine per week.

In busy locations, this can even go up to hundreds of dollars per week.

A wide variety of options are being sold through these machines.

Still, interestingly even high brands like L’Oreal and Coca-Cola are collaborating with big vending machine manufacturers to display their goods for sale and promotional purposes. 

India and Her Trailblazing Story

India in the last decade has shown a clear intent to transform itself into the fastest-growing economy with a digital engine in front.

Attempts of demonetization, UPI Revolution, Jandhan-Aadhar-Mobile, or JAM trinity are a few of the initiatives highlighting that vigor.

This has created an extremely ripe atmosphere for the growth of vending machine businesses in India.

The earlier hesitations regarding machines breaking down, money getting stuck, items not being dispensed and the burden of wear and tear are all becoming past myths.

Rather, India is speedily moving forward in the race for vending machine solutions in the world.

The large demographic, with a young average age of 29 years, is pushing the demands for such modern machines even higher. 

In sum, vending machines are serving as a symbol of convenience worldwide and India reflects strong willpower to pace faster in this race. 


Visualize the technological shifts of the 21st century.

From the Mobile Revolution to the Internet Revolution, from Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the Internet of Things (IoT), from Blockchain to Self-Driven cars; these tech revolutions are shaping our future, and vending machines are a quiet but evident part of this movement. 

So, as a customer, the horizon of your brick-and-mortar market has just been expanded.

And if you are someone aspiring to venture into the vending machine business as an entrepreneur, the time has never been better before!

Frequently Asked Questions 

Quess 1: Do vending machines work in India?

Ans: If you would have asked this question a decade ago, the answer would have been an uncertain yes.

But today, it is a definite YES! The demand as well as the popularity of vending machines is constantly rising.

In metro cities, these machines have become the face of metro stations, office spaces, shopping malls, etc., but even in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, the percolation is increasing.

If you are a vending machine business enthusiast, the true opportunity lies in these cities!

Ques 2: What is the advantage of vending?

Ans: Let’s answer this from two perspectives.

If you are a customer, your advantages are time, quality, and comfort. Vending saves time, with about 5 items being dispensed in less than a minute.

It gives you assured quality, especially if the refill and maintenance are taken care of properly.

Most importantly, vending gives you a convenient and comfortable shopping experience with a variety of products, a variety of payment options, and the availability of goods in areas where brick-and-mortar shops are not possible.

If you wish to establish a vending machine business, then the advantages are more than just monetary.

Vending business allows you to reduce your input costs; gives you enough time to manage other ventures because of the remote management of the machines.

And if you happen to have a profitable beginning then scaling is a good option too. All in all, low investment, consistent profit, and a ripe time for vending business in India.

Ques 3: What is the cost of a vending machine?

Ans: The cost of a vending machine ranges from 1,00,000 to 3,00,000. However, the price differs as per the design of the machine and the demand of the buyer.

However, there are a few options like Wendor Touch which can be a highly cost-saving mechanism.

This is a motherboard that you can install in your old machines and it will upgrade your system to give the most modern features to your machine. 

Ques 4: What is the best place to put a vending machine?

Ans: The location of a vending machine depends on the type of items it is vending. For instance, for snacks and beverages vending machines, schools, colleges, PGs, hostels, libraries, and office spaces, are the most suitable locations.

Even fully prepared meals like idli vending machines can also be installed in these locations.

Sports complexes or tourist places offer a good location for drinking water vending machines too.

Sanitary napkin vending machines have almost become the need of the hour in many shopping malls, offices, schools, colleges, etc.

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Anjali Singh
Anjali Singh

Meet Anjali, a seasoned content writer with a passion for education, innovation and all things outdoorsy. With five years of content writing experience in diverse product-based companies.