Embracing The Future Online

Aug. 1, 2013

It won’t come as a shock to many of you that print is declining. Print newspaper readership has gone down more than 20 percent in the last few years. Newsweek is now a completely digital magazine. And the number of people that go online for industry-related information has increased. In the vending industry specifically, nearly 51 percent of professionals use online resources more often than print resources.

Surprised? I wasn’t. Print page counts have gone down for industry and consumer publications as readers and those who support the magazines choose to go online. It’s why the publishing industry can’t continue to do the same old thing in regards to media. Does this sounds familiar? There’s certainly a parallel with vending in both products and technology.

Transition happened years ago

More than 40 percent of visitors to our Website, VendingMarketWatch.com, have been using it for more than 5 years. It’s a trend we’ve been watching and it will only continue. That is why we are always working to create more robust online offerings, including more video and online exclusive content, but if you are reading this blog, you are no doubt already aware of what the Website has to offer.

What I find most interesting is how people read and use online resources differently than print. Online is content and news driven. Users look up a specific topic or want to read the most recent news.

In our survey, more than half of the 731 respondents indicated they visited the Website for news, industry reports, vending trends, manufacturer/supplier information, acquisitions and mergers as well as feature articles of the magazine, technology news and products news.

Almost 80 percent agreed the Website “keeps me current on the vending and coffee service industries” When deciding whether to carry a certain product line, online directories and vendor Websites were rated higher than print.

The vending industry started utilizing the best of information and technology available to them years ago and the march towards easier, faster, most efficient decision making and information getting continues. And we will take risks and embrace it.

‘Print only’ is still out there

But I don’t want to paint a skewed picture. There are people who prefer print. In our survey, 25 percent of respondents reported using print more often than online resources. More than half of them were reading for success stories/operation profiles, business basics stories and technology/software articles.

I, for one, love print media. It’s one of the things that drew me to being a writer more than a decade ago. However, I’m just as excited about what the internet has to offer. Digital resources have a lot that print can’t possibly compete with and it’s become a way of doing business for the majority of the vending industry. Industries move forward, and we must not be afraid to move forward with them. That is why I am proud to bring vending resources to people on mobile devices as well as in mailboxes across the country.