16 Mar Choosing the Right Unattended Retail Technology
The vending industry has seen a lot of technology come into the market in recent years. Staples like credit card readers keep growing while newer tools like micro markets and smart stores are taking a strong foothold. For an operator, the rapid change and new technology can be intimidating. What technology works, and what’s the best way to embrace it? Here’s how to choose the right unattended retail technology for the right location.
Depending on the location, a business can choose to install a traditional vending machine, a micro market, a smart store, or even a dining technology solution. By examining factors like location type, in and out traffic, product diversity requirements, investment costs, and account value, you can start to see which is the right unattended retail technology.
Traditional snack and soda vending machines continue to dominate the industry and for good reason. They are a relatively low cost investment with a solid return. They work best in locations with a smaller customer pool, high in and out traffic, and low product diversity requirements – places like hotels or car dealerships. They are a low risk opportunity perfect for medium value accounts.
Micro markets work well in locations with at least 75 people that have little in and out traffic and require high product diversity. Think of offices or manufacturing facilities – places where the same people come in every day. Micro markets require a bigger upfront investment, but the reward is much higher. By offering more diverse, higher priced products, you can better satisfy your location while making more money.
Micro markets are great for high value accounts, but what if the location has a lot of in and out traffic? This is where smart stores come in. Products like the hubz Smart Cooler marry the best parts of vending machines and micro markets – high product diversity AND high security. This technology allows you to service accounts like airports, medical centers, or shopping malls. The investment is not quite as substantial as micro markets, but the potential for profits can be high.
Lastly, your business can pursue full foodservice options. Bigger businesses looking to expand into campus or workplace foodservice need technology to service these locations well. Through a self-checkout kiosk, kitchen display system, and campus manager dashboard, like the one offered through Cater, you can offer total foodservice technology to locations that need it. The investment to supply fresh hot food can be high, but the potential for huge returns is massive.
Operators have more technology at their disposal than ever, and its essential that companies choose the right unattended retail technology for the right location. A good mix of vending, micro markets, smart stores, and even foodservice technology is the recipe for growth and success.
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