Investing in real estate investment trusts, or REITs as they’re commonly known, is a popular way for individuals to diversify their portfolios while earning passive income through dividends. REITs, especially those offering monthly dividends, can provide a consistent income stream. But while REITs dominate the conversation in the world of real estate investing, there’s another often-overlooked option for generating revenue in the retail space: investing in automated retail solutions such as custom vending machines, smart vending machines, and digital vending machines.
Let’s explore how these modern vending solutions could complement an investor’s strategy, similar to how REITs work, by offering a blend of technology, convenience, and steady cash flow.
Vending machines have undergone a radical transformation in recent years, becoming more than just a means to get a quick snack. They have evolved into sophisticated Automated Retail centers that can dispense everything from electronics to personal care products, and yes, even cupcakes through cupcake vending machines.
Now why would individuals or companies consider investing in custom vending machines as a serious business proposition? For starters, vending machines offer a passive income stream, similar to the monthly dividends that attract investors to REITs. With an automated system in place, once the initial setup is complete—such as finding a location, stocking the machines, and implementing the digital systems—proprietary software takes over to manage sales and inventory, much like how REITs manage their properties.
Furthermore, smart vending machines come equipped with AI and data analytics capabilities that can capture consumer behaviors and patterns. This data is invaluable for optimizing your selling strategies and keeping inventory aligned with customer demands. Such insights can help automate restocking and predict future sales, akin to how REITs project potential yield from their properties.
Another benefit is the versatility of products you can offer through custom vending machines. They can be tailored to suit a range of products, tapping into niche markets with a lower upfront cost compared to traditional brick-and-mortar retail spaces. For example, with health and wellness trends on the rise, machines stocked with organic snacks or fitness products can capitalize on this market segment. Plus, vending machines are not limited by regular store hours, allowing for a 24/7 income potential.
Now let’s get a bit financial to solidify the comparison. Many of the mentioned REITs exhibit impressive yields, such as Realty Income with a 5.43% yield and AGNC Investment at 15.37%. Instead of investing in REITs solely, investors could allocate funds to Automated Retail business models. The exact yield will vary based on factors such as location, product type, and machine sophistication, but it’s entirely possible to create a comparable income stream with vending machines.
Moreover, by investing in a digital vending machine network, you become part of a rapidly growing industry. According to the Automatic Merchandiser’s annual report, the average annual sales per machine were $4,500 in 2020. While not analogous to stock price movements and dividend payments of REITs, these figures show that automated retail can be a lucrative venture when executed properly.
Lastly, in an era of social distancing and heightened sanitation, vending machines make an even more compelling case. They offer a contact-free shopping experience—an important selling point for customers concerned with health and safety. This is not a benefit you can easily quantify but one that could lead to increased consumer confidence and, therefore, sales.
In conclusion, for those interested in finding alternatives to traditional investments like REITs, the vending machine industry beckons with its cutting-edge, automated, and scalable business model. Whether you’re drawn to custom vending machines that cater to specific market needs or are intrigued by the vast potential of cupcake vending machines sweetening up the streets of your city, automated retail presents an attractive opportunity for savvy investors seeking diversification and innovation in their income-generating endeavors. Whether you’re looking to complement your REIT investments or diversify into retail, the world of automated vending machines might just be your next smart investment move.