In just a few years, the micro market segment has gone from non-existent to driving nearly 9 percent of overall vending operation revenues. And it continues to grow. In fact, NAMA and Technomic research in 2015 predicted that there are nearly 9,000 locations in the U.S. with micro markets, and that number is sure to have increased in the last year.
Despite the growth in micro market locations, micro markets are not a well-known concept to all consumers and many operators are still in the phase of having to sell the micro market idea to a location. For an operator, there are many perks of adding a micro market over vending, including higher revenues, but when selling the micro market concept to the human resource manager or decision-maker at a location, there are three tips to help make the micro market a desirable choice.
Discuss employee perks
The employee benefits that a micro market brings are the most important aspect to discuss with the decision-maker. Micro markets allow for loyalty and promotions, similar to those in retail. Employees simply sign up for an account and can access that account with their employee number, a micro market card, a fingerprint, etc. and get instant deals depending on the loyalty or promotion feature running.
Employees also have the option of bundling items in a micro market for one easy purchase, unlike vending where there can be lines when items vend one at a time.
More SKU options also means that employees don’t have to go far to get a snack or beverage they are craving—something the employee will see as a convenience when they enter the breakroom. With the increased number of SKUs as well, micro markets are a great way to offer many varieties of flavors and brands of products, too.
Highlight corporate benefits
The micro market concept doesn’t just benefit employees; it has to benefit the location’s needs and wants as well from a corporate standpoint. Micro markets can help companies be competitive, as well as gain and keep employees.
Employee engagement and investment is huge for companies; in fact, everyday companies are more focused on employee perks, from offering free snacks to providing respite rooms to employees to recharge. Companies are using the breakroom to remain competitive and hire/attract the best talent, too, said Howard Chapman, Royal Cup, Inc.’s Office Beverage Division President in an article about a good breakroom’s competitive advantage.
If the decision-maker isn’t sold yet, it might be a good idea to bring up employee productivity. When an employee lacks food options in the workplace, they often leave to find it somewhere else, which not only wastes time but also takes the employee out of the work environment, which can have a negative impact on their productivity.
Another great selling point is bringing up the fact that with micro markets, operators can offer more fresh food and snacks/beverages that fit into a broader corporate wellness initiative.
If it still doesn’t work, try using numbers—some operators report that micro markets oftentimes use half the electricity than a vending machine. Less electricity means less money!
Show — don’t simply tell
Take the office manager to a current location in order to really sell the micro market concept. Seeing an up and running location can help office managers and decision-makers understand and visualize how the concept would work at their site.
Odds are that the manager will speak with customers at the micro market location and they will see how much the employees use the service. The live micro market can speak for itself.
If you don’t have a micro market location to show a customer, it might be worth it to ask operators outside of your service area if they would be willing to let you show a client around one of their live micro market locations. If that still isn’t an option, there are video resources online that show tours of current micro markets.
Micro market success starts with getting your foot in the door—with these steps, it will be easier to sell the micro market concept to those less familiar with this new segment.