Turning tradition upside down: how technology from 365 Retail Markets revolutionized an industry

July 1, 2021

Fourteen years ago, almost to the day, the first-generation iPhone was released on June 29, 2007. In these past 14 years, technology has accelerated and changed every single industry along the way. The vending industry is no exception.

Think about when you first got into the industry...what did vending look like? Can you picture your warehouse? How about the way you stocked your vending machines? I am certain that your business today does not look like your business ‘back then’. If it did, you probably wouldn’t be in business.

Today's operators have embraced technology to not only survive, but thrive and companies like 365 Retail Markets are the ones behind the scene bringing that technology to life.

Where it's been

Since its founding in 2008, 365 Retail Markets has been launching cutting-edge vending machine technologies and features from the Connected Campus℠ (one consumer account to traverse markets), to Cancel Alert technology and beyond.

After launching its revolutionary first-generation kiosk for micro markets, the company continued improving its product, unveiling the Gen3c Kiosk at 2014 NAMA OneShow.

As operators began finding that micro markets are hugely successful, 365 worked to offer a solution that allowed for more placements in smaller locations. In 2017 the company launched the 365 nanomarket™, a tablet-based self-checkout kiosk specifically designed for smaller micro market locations or as an additional checkout point for micro markets.

The company constantly works to offer solutions that help operators, as can be seen in the 365Beacon, a “plug-and-pay” Bluetooth device that has enabled vendors to add dry goods, cold drinks and fresh food options to office coffee venues.

In fact, the company has won several Automatic Merchandiser’ Readers’ Choice Product of the Year Awards throughout the years including a 2017 win for its 365 Inside, a hardware add-on device for vending machines that, in combination with the 365Pay app, creates a cashless payment, reporting and communications structure. And earlier this year, the company’s PicoCooler won the 2021 Product of the Year award in the Equipment category.

But rather than sit back and look at its accomplishments, 365 Retail Markets is looking toward the future.

Today’s technology

Despite the dramatic shift in business and life in 2020, 365 launched several products, including the PicoCooler and the 365Pico Platform. The PicoCooler is a compact device that’s installed on a cooler’s door. It not only provides operators with the opportunity to grow into semi-public areas like hotels, hospitals, apartment complexes and malls, but it also provides them with controlled cooler access. The PicoCooler additionally allows OCS routes to add food in a cooler next to their coffee services. For consumers, it’s a one-stop-shop to easily grab food and beverages. As PicoCooler is part of the 365 Connected Campus, operators can simply manage promotions, loss prevention, reporting and more alongside their current micro market accounts.

The 365Pico Platform includes the PicoMarket, PicoCoffee, and PicoVend. With the PicoVend, operators can give customers an interactive, dynamic touchscreen display that can provide on-screen promotions/advertising opportunities with easy payment options. And in order to accommodate more machine models, the company is launching the 365 PicoVend Mini that fits on any standard NAMA knockout with a smaller footprint.

Bring convenience to smaller locations, add to your OCS or even streamline the checkout experience in larger markets! PicoMarket was built to be flexible to fit you and your consumers’ needs. Lower cost than traditional vending, great way to start into unattended retail and advanced technology with an intuitive interface.

Technology has not and will not slow down. Now I ask you, as a vending, micro market and/or OCS operator, where do you see your business in the next 14 years?