With vending machines being the most commonly used onsite food source in Australian businesses, it’s no wonder that innovative alternatives – like micro markets – are becoming more popular. You may be wondering what a micro market is though, what benefits it will have for your business and what equipment will you need to start one. Keep reading to find out…
Micro markets are a flexible, contemporary and customisable alternative to workplace vending machines. They are compact, self-contained convenient stores with shelves, refrigeration or freezers that contain products for sale. The main point of difference is that the store is not monitored physically by a human. Instead, a self-service checkout is placed nearby and customers (your employees or students) autonomously complete their checkout – all while being monitored by security equipment to deter theft.
Think of a micro market like a huge, open vending machine that you have on your business premises – perhaps in your lunchroom or tucked into a corner somewhere convenient. A customer chooses a product or multiple products, they head over to the self-scanning checkout and scan their items. They then pay using a variety of payment options and walk away – no fuss, no queues, no waiting for a vending machine to dispense one item at a time.
There are some major benefits to having a micro market in your business. They include (but are not limited to):
Convenience – like vending machines, micro markets offer convenience in the form of easily sourced and consumed snacks, meals, drinks and other items. They are located within customers’ workplace and don’t require an attendant to operate them. Customers can purchase multiple items at once, but then pay in the same way you’d pay for a vending machine purchase. The micro market can also be accessed by your customers at any time your business is open.
Personalised – at Quality Vend, we have a huge range of products you can select from for your micro market. This appeals to a large variance of customers, meaning whatever your workplace culture, we can cater to your needs. Our modular layouts are designed to fit any nook or cranny – even a flat wall – and our touchscreen payment kiosks are super-simple for customers to use. With the option of multiple secure payment methods, you’ll have absolutely no trouble fitting a micro market into your business, school or campus, as well as fitting it in with your customers.
Latest technology – The use of cutting-edge communication technology means that you won’t have to keep logs, deal with computers or anything else. All the information and monitoring data is sent to our team. This information tells you and us how sales are going and which inventory is selling the best, which allows you to customise your stock to your customers’ needs. It lets us know when items need restocking, which means you don’t have to lift a finger.
No trouble – We offer full support for all our vending and micro market products, meaning you don’t need to worry if something breaks or stops working correctly. We can also do all the difficult forecasting for you, ensuring your micro market is stocked with the products that are likely to sell the best.
Improved production – When you feed your staff healthy, nutritious foods, they respond by performing better at their jobs and having higher satisfaction rates. At Quality Vend, we provide traditional vending snacks, but we also heavily focus on healthy snack and meal options, giving you and your customers more choice.
You’ll notice other benefits once installed, but those are the most widely-reported. Regardless, you may be wondering what it actually takes to set up a micro market. Below are the three main vital needs:
Micro market location
Many of our clients have said their barrier to hosting a micro market is a lack of space. Thankfully, we’ve managed to accommodate our client’s needs and have installed micro markets in each one of these ‘too small’ workplace spaces for them. Micro marketing fittings aren’t obtrusive or have complicated fittings. In fact, they can actually be much less obtrusive than a large traditional vending machine!
A micro market kiosk generally consists of a dynamic shelving system, small displays and fridges or freezers that can easily be fit into a variety of different shaped spaces. The best place to place your micro market is in a non-public area that gains a lot of foot traffic from your employees, but no-one else.
Micro market power supply
Obviously, you’ll need an area that has access to electricity. This is because your micro market will have things like a payment kiosk, security system, fridge, freezer or lighting. This doesn’t have to be complicated though – a basic three-prong outlet or two will be fine.
Micro market technology
The technology is the thing that truly makes a micro market what it is. The unattended checkout and payment system needs electricity, but it also needs an internet connection, preferably an NBN or high-speed broadband connection to minimise interruptions. The cashier-less checkout technology is truly advanced, allowing customers to pay in a variety of ways with or without a card. Some even have fingerprint detection!
The internet connection is also used for sending data back to base for security, restocking or repairs monitoring. You can technically leave your micro market running 24 hours a day with just those three main aspects.
Regardless of your space or other requirements, we can help you achieve a well-stocked micro market for educational institutes or businesses larger than 150 employees. Our supplies include healthy options to increase workplace productivity and general happiness, as well as increase your passive income. Call us today on 1300 305 051 to set up an appointment so we can set up a micro market for you.