2020 brought many challenges to the vending, micro market, and office coffee industry. These challenges, however, bring new opportunities for savvy operators. These opportunities, coupled with the right action, can increase your success in the coming year. Here are 3 industry trends to watch in 2021:

Touchless Purchases

The pandemic gave rise to increased customer demand for clean, touchless, and safe ways to purchase. Whether it is through a micro market, vending machine, or delivery, your customers expect the ability to utilize touchless payments. Look to capitalize on this trend by offering touchless purchase options. Smart businesses will look to their technology providers to enable touchless options on all of their points of sale. The safer your customers feel through the purchase process, the more likely they will be to continue buying from you. 

New Technology 

As health and safety continues to be on the top of everyone’s mind, unattended retail has an opportunity to shine. Customers are looking to minimize person-to-person purchases and unattended retail can fill the gap. Vending machines and micro markets will continue to be more appealing than attended checkout options, but new unattended points of sale concepts will make fast gains. Smart coolers, campus and restaurant kiosks, and mobile ordering options will become more important than ever. Operators should look to these new types of unattended retail to bolster their product offering and take advantage of the opportunities provided by our new normal.

Expanded Service Opportunities

 As 2021 progresses, many workers will return to the office, but some locations may stay totally virtual. This shift highlights the need for account diversity and expanded service options. Moving forward, companies need to balance their account portfolio and offer as many services to their customers as possible. Instead of simply doing vending or office coffee, offer a whole suite of services to each account. The stronger and more diverse your accounts are, the healthier your business will be.

2020 was challenging and has altered the course of our industry. But big challenges lead to big opportunities. Organizations who adapt their strategies and capitalize on the new normal will find success in 2021 and beyond.

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