From Traditional Vending to Micro Markets – the USA Story
Micro Markets used to be a foreign concept, not so anymore. The shift from Vending Machines to Micro Markets would not be uncommon these days.
In the United States, Micro Markets had a slow start, but nowadays one would expect to find a Micro Market of some size of form, in almost every company or organisation – from the traditional big office locations to smaller work places and even these days in military barracks. Figures show that in 2012 there were 2,642 active Micro Market locations compared to 26,094 in 2019.
Why such a growth? Because Micro Markets are lucrative to the operator whilst at the same time it addresses a much-needed ‘employee satisfaction’ gap in the market. More cost-effective and safer contactless payment solutions such as the 365Pay App and 365Beacon means even smaller sites are now economically viable e.g. 67.7% of Micro Markets are now placed in sites with less than a 100 staff (2019 State of the Industry Report).
Research has shown that Micro Markets play a major role in improving employee satisfaction and in a company’s ability to retain staff because it shows employees that their employer is not only interested in work output, but their nutritional input and overall well-being. Feedback from staff shows that healthy food options, the use of technology, the ability to confirm nutritional facts and freshness of product before buying, a unique breakroom experience and the ability to offer diverse products, is what matters to them. Not to mention the safer, friendlier and more collaborating workplace environment it creates.
Vending Machines and Micro Markets – Best of Both Worlds
So you may ask – will Micro Markets replace the traditional vending machine? No, certainly not! Vending machines have been around for many decades and they will most likely be with us – in different shapes and forms – for many years to come. Vending machines have many advantages, but it also has its limitations – let’s be honest – who wants to buy a salad from a vending machine?
Micro Markets on the other hand can address these limitations offering not only a greater level of convenience but also a greater variety of products in the same space that a traditional vending machine used to take up. But the best news for operators is the higher revenue potential. Statistics have shown that Micro Markets attract 18% more visits per day and 1.2 sales per day per visit, compared with 0.7 sales in a vending area. That means those who replaced a vending machine with a Micro Market have increased their sales on average by 80%. [Reported in Automatic Merchandiser].
By combining these two great convenience offers, you not only give your customers a greater choice in products – from the traditional snacks and drinks to an endless variety of frozen meals, ice cream, salads, flowers, coffee, hot meals – even birthday cards, band-aids etc – but you increase your monthly revenue – typically between 50-300% – depending on your site.
Micro Markets expanding to the rest of the world
From its humble birth in the US, Micro Markets have taken off and expanded to the rest of the world. 365 Retail Markets, the global leader in Micro Market and point-of-sale technology, has grown quickly, efficiently and enthusiastically over the past decade, to become the global leader in self-service convenience technologies. Today they are active in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, with more to come.
Micro Markets launching in Australia
In July 2018, the first Australian Micro Market was launched in Sydney. Click here for more on the launch. Since then, more Micro Markets have opened on both the East and West Coast of Australia.
COVID-19 not only changed the landscape of the convenience services industry, but it has changed the way business in general is done across the world. The focus in food services industry has become increasingly more on providing safe, contactless payment and selection options for customers. Micro Markets are also ideal for practicing social distancing as it offers multiple payment points through the 365Pay App.
The 365Pay App is a contactless, safe and convenient payment option for your Micro Market and fully GDPR compliant. But it is so much more! From a seamless and safe checkout experience that minimizes the time and contact that customers experience while making a purchase, it offers unique opportunities to engage with your consumers. For more information, contact us on [contact page] or come and see us in our showroom – we would love to show you!