Six Reasons to Adopt Micro Markets into Your Vending Operation  

Micro markets are one of the fastest growing trends in convenience services in the United States and now, they’ve started to gain momentum and traction in the European market. For reference, a micro market, which typically is placed in employee breakrooms for a known group of people, is an open market concept that is similar to a mini convenience store. Instead of traditional vending machines, businesses are installing micro markets to offer not only a much larger assortment of food and beverage products, but also a healthier range of food options for their employees.

David Llewellyn

The last three years have seen a 40-50% increase in micro markets in the United Kingdom, according to the AVA’s David Llewellyn. That number is expected to increase, as more and more operators embrace the inevitability of ubiquitous cashless solutions and adopt micro markets into their operations.

“Micro markets are the future of vending,” says Chris Worgan of J.W. Vending, which currently operates four Cantaloupe micro markets.

What makes micro markets so appealing both to operators and customers? Let’s explore some of those ways below.

Here are 6 ways micro markets have provided huge growth potential for operators: 

  1. Micro markets can be designed how you want them, where you want them.

Micro markets are flexible, dynamic and unique in their setup, which means there is no limit to where they can be installed. They can be customised for the needs of corporate offices, schools and universities, breakrooms and lobbies, transportation stations, and much more. Offering both styles of micro markets that are fully open shelves to ones that require payment first to unlock a section of a market – typically found more in locations where security is a concern to the operator.

  1. Micro markets offer a more modern food and beverage experience.

With cashless options on the rise in the vending industry – coupled with the demand for more sophisticated and technologically-savvy vending experiences, along with alignment to healthy eating and sustainability trends influenced by younger generations – micro markets can provide consumers with a fun, fast and convenient vending experience.

Micro markets can also offer expanded food and beverage options that a traditional vending machine can’t, such as fresh and frozen foods, baked goods, and more. The big advantage to this is that consumers can look at the product before they purchase it, see how fresh it is and view the caloric information all before they go to a self-checkout kiosk to purchase the item. Cantaloupe LIVE

  1. Micro markets are not limited to just food and beverage.

Get creative! Micro markets can extend to other items, including electronics, PPE, stationary and more. The flexibility of a micro market is that it runs entirely off SKU’s so no more limitations to what can fit inside of a vending machine coil, but rather complete flexibility to offering any size or variety of take-home products that might appeal best to the demographic of your location. By offering micro market options outside of the typical food and beverage frame, operators can extend their products to many more industries.

  1. Micro markets can triple sales.

When operators replace vending machines with a micro market, they often experience a threefold increase in sales. And because the experience is viewed as more ‘premium’ and require the operator to leverage technology to manage the micro market – margins on the products sold in the market can be increased by 15 – 20%.  According to data collected by Cantaloupe customers, the average basket size at a micro market is £2.51, in comparison to £1.31 in vending.

These points prove that not only does the experience change the way consumers buy at a micro market versus a traditional vending machine, but they also present more opportunities for operators to sell multiple items in a single transaction – where consumers get more “meals” versus just a “snack to hold them over.”

  1. micro marketsMicro markets are nearly self-sufficient.

With micro markets replacing the traditional canteen setup in locations like schools, workplaces and hospitals, businesses no longer have to worry about the added costs of hiring labour to manage those canteens. Cantaloupe’s self-checkout kiosks allow even more ease and convenience for the selection and checkout process.

With the Cantaloupe Go back-end platform, operators can easily manage in real-time what is selling, inventory levels, and restocking trends. This enables them to ensure that markets are fully stocked and serviced when they need to be, all while offering complete flexibility to run promotions, BOGO’s and offers to customers to drive the average basket size up.

  1. Micro markets can make the workplace fun.

As more staff members are being mandated to return to work, companies are offering a variety of incentives to make sure their teams are happy to be back in the office. Micro markets can be a great perk: if a company can provide their teams with an elevated food and beverage experience that mimics their quick on-the-go lunchtime outing, team members will be less likely to leave the office, contributing to a more productive work day.

Cantaloupe supplies a full suite of solutions to vending operators. Contact us today to learn more about how Cantaloupe’s micro markets can multiply your sales by three.

Last month’s article from Cantaloupe on Planet Vending

Catch up on our new feature The Micro Brew Here

About the author

Yvonne Reynolds-Young

Planet Vending’s MD and Publisher is Yvonne Reynolds-Young. An island of corporate common sense surrounded by oceans of creative madness, Yvonne is the person to call if your intention is to make something happen. (She controls all the diaries and all the money, FYI). She’s also our Social Media Queen, single-handedly responsible for building PVs presence on LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter and thereby driving record volumes of traffic onto the site.

‘Customer service is my responsibility and it’s my job to make sure we’re always ahead of deadlines’ she says. ‘My background in big business means I speak the same language as our corporate clients and understand the particular pressures they face when working in the vending arena.’

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