Consumers Want Variety In Micro Markets, Creating New Opportunities And Challenges For Operators

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365 Retail Markets

Ask any micro market operator, and they’ll likely tell you that they’re stocking a wider variety of products today than they were just a couple of years ago. This is due to multiple factors, including the continued popularity of better-for-you items, the need to provide specialty food and beverage products for consumers with restricted diets, and an increasing number of new products from suppliers. 

“A trend in micro markets is the diversity of what’s being offered, whether that’s different variations and types of product, new and more flavors, or multiple packages and sizes,” explained Malcolm McAlpine, business manager, branded snacks and confections at Mondelēz International. “It’s all about options and providing an assortment that consumers can choose from. In addition, while consumers do still enjoy that traditional sweet or salty snack, they are more health-conscious and also want snack options that they see as better-for-you.” 

Since operators are now managing a larger inventory, there’s a greater risk of losing products to spoilage or expiration if certain products aren’t selling well. 365 Retail Markets offers a range of products to help operators effectively manage inventory and position specific food and beverage items to increase sales, reduce loss and spoilage, and help consumers cut through the clutter of so many options.  

365 ADM  

365’s ADM is a robust backend management platform that empowers operators with control and insight into their accounts and products. Through intuitive dashboards and real-time reporting, operators can manage all aspects of products and product inventories. 

William Kolpasky, product manager at 365, said that a notable feature of ADM is the Global Product Change functionality.  

“This tool provides operators with the ability to quickly make mass updates to product characteristics, such as pricing, cost and categories,” Kolpasky said. “By being able to quickly update products, operators have the ability to manage their entire inventory with a few clicks regardless of the size and diversity of products offered.” 

ADM also provides the operator with expansive reporting capabilities.  

“There are various reports in ADM that provide insight in product movement, so users always have clear insight into why products were put into or removed from a location,” Kolpasky continued. “Being able to accurately track inventory on a real-time basis is an extremely valuable tool as it helps guide decision-making.” 

Lastly, 365’s ADM has a mobile inventory platform with three distinct physical inventory methods, allowing end users to quickly add and remove products from their personal phone, tablet, or computer.  

“By having a dedicated tool for products and inventories, users can seamlessly update and manage products from the field, thus ultimately streamlining the inventory process and saving time and money,” Kolpasky said. 

365Pay 

The 365Pay app, launched in 2016 and redesigned in 2019, allows end users the ability to manage their stored value account (Global Market Account) by adding funds, paying across multiple locations and viewing their purchase history. The 365Pay app also enables operators to build promotions, discounts and rewards around the end user’s frequently purchased items. Not only does the consumer feel like they’re getting a customized shopping experience, but they’re also motivated to make a purchase because they’re gaining an additional benefit on something they already wanted to buy. 

“Just like other 365 products, operators can run sales reports to track which items are the top sellers as well products that are not selling very well,” explained Mallory Wonoski, product manager at 365. “This gives [operators] a leg up to be able to create promotions around both: the top selling items to reward the users for purchasing the items often, and the low-selling items to incentivize users to purchase items they might not normally buy.” 

365 and Advana 

In early 2019, 365 partnered with advertising technology company Advana. This partnership enabled Advana to bring curated promotions and brand content to consumers on more than 20,000 screens through 365 including kiosks, mobile and other digital signage through 365’s Connected Campus, a platform that seamlessly connects micro market, office coffee service, vending and dining products in one account. Through Advana, operators can inform customers about promotions for specific products, targeting new items in partnership with a supplier, or low-selling items to clear inventory. 

“All our devices work with our partner Advana by placing inventory-based, personalized ads on all of our screens and right on the consumer’s very own mobile device,” said Joe Hessling, CEO of 365. “Advana is an awesome way to increase same-store sales as it is available on our suite of Connected Campus products.” 

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