Micro markets are becoming a bigger part of the vending industry. As we examined in our micro market infographic, micro markets reached over 10% of all vending sales revenue in 2015. The shifting American diet toward healthier snacks, corporate insistence on employee-wellness programs, and the explosion of inexpensive self-checkout technology have all combined to make micro markets a profitable concept.
It’s easy to see why micro markets are popular. In a location with 125 employees, an operator can average around $1000 per week – an increase of 80% over their vending machine counterparts. However, for extremely successful operators, weekly sales can be much higher. For example, one operator who replaced two vending machines with a Parlevel micro market experienced an increase in sales of over 800% – averaging $5100 a month from his market. So how did this particular operator achieve micro market sales above the average of his peers? He took advantage of tools unique to his Parlevel micro market kiosk – and achieved huge sales as a result.
Here are three tools that will maximize sales in your micro market:
1. Product Merchandising Recommendations
Selling product out of a micro market is a completely different game than selling out of a vending machine. Customers expect fresh food. Chips and candy might still sell well, but customers expect diversity from a micro market – necessitating the need for products like sandwiches or yogurt. While fresh food will help satisfy your customer, you’ll have to deal with shorter shelf life and the potential for increased spoilage. Operators need to keep an eye of the sales of their fresh food to cut down on lost money from expired food. Luckily, with a powerful micro market kiosk management system like Parlevel’s, you can track product spoilage quickly and easily. From your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, you can keep tabs on how quickly products sell in your market. With this information, you can stock the right amount of each product inside your market – cutting down on costly spoilage.
Also, the amount of UPCs in a micro market are signficantly greater than in a vending machine; instead of stocking tens of products, you’re stocking hundreds. While you might have a good idea of how products in your machines are selling, it is much more difficult in a market. Plus, each market location has totally different taste preferences – a blue collar factory will enjoy different items than a white collar breakroom. It is an absolute must to have a system that tracks product sales in a market. With a micro market kiosk like the one from Parlevel, you can easily track product sales in each market across your operation. At a glance, you can see what sells well and what doesn’t, and you can replace slow-sellers with better-selling items. The system will even make recommendations on what products to stock based on their success in other markets. Pretty cool, huh? With tools like these, an operator can cut down on product spoilage costs and increase micro market sales by more than 15%.
2. Theft Prevention Tools
When diving into micro markets, there is one chief concern many operators face: theft. Unlike vending machines, the product stocked in micro markets isn’t locked up. There are no physical barriers between the items and the shopper. However, theft in micro markets isn’t as big an issue as many might think – the majority of operators reported theft in micro markets as less than 3%.
However, operators need to take steps to ensure theft in their micro market is kept to a minimum. These two tools in particular help increase the security of a micro market:
Nest dropcams do a fantastic job of monitoring a micro market. Small, discreet, and capable of HD recording, this webcam will capture what is going on with your market at all times. Furthermore, you can mark a specific location in the camera’s view – like your micro market kiosk – and the camera will alert you if someone steps into that marked location. With easy access to this footage on mobile or desktop, monitoring your micro market is a snap.
While a Nest camera is great for monitoring your micro market setup from end to end, it might struggle to capture a potential thief’s face in detail. So, it is important that your micro market kiosk has a front-facing camera built into it that will capture customer’s faces in detail. An effective kiosk like the one from Parlevel will capture screenshots of a customer every time they touch the screen. That way if they fake a transaction at a kiosk, you’ll be alerted to it. These tools will help deter theft, and encourage customers to pay for items honestly – increasing sales in the process.
3. Promotional Sales
Promotions do a fantastic job of increasing sales in almost every industry. In a study of convenience stores in the US, products with sales promotions experienced a 14% sales bump over products with standard pricing. The effectiveness of sales promotions also rings true with micro markets. For example, Parlevel micro market operators who use wallet refill promotions average over $3,500 per kiosk per month in wallet recharges and cashless sales. 95% of the money loaded in these wallets actually gets sold, which means operators benefit from a 5% boost in sales without incurring any costs of selling the product.
Wallet refill incentives
A refillable wallet on a micro market kiosk means a customer creates a profile and then fills up that profile with funds, which can be used to pay for products at the market. Having a re-loadable wallet on a micro market is a huge benefit to both operators and customers. For the customer, it speeds up their checkout. For operators, they get money up-front and benefit from lower transaction costs. With a market like Parlevel’s you can incentivize operators to use a wallet by offering 10% bonuses for wallet recharges. For example, load your wallet with $10 and get an extra $1 free! The money an operator will make from increased wallet usage will more than make up for the dollar spent.
The massive popularity of micro markets shows that they can be real money-makers for vending operators. In order to maximize micro market profitability and speed up ROI, operators need to go the extra mile. With the right kiosk and the right tools like product merchandising, theft prevention technology, and promotions, operators can boost their micro market sales and enjoy profits much higher than their counterparts.