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The issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have added immense stress to everyday life throughout many different industries. Some issues such as labor shortages aren't new and have been creating challenges for years, but recently the Great Resignation has caused businesses to start looking for a more permanent solutions to these issues.
There's a reason micro markets have become one of the most popular types of vending—the relief they offer to labor shortages is significant. Fortunately, micro markets can come pre-built and ready to be installed with ease, additionally reducing the front-end labor involved in many vending solutions.
Micro markets are a substantial investment opportunity for businesses because of their high return on investment (ROI). Here are eight of the most predominant benefits of micro markets and how they are saving companies money.
Micro markets reduce labor costs because customers serve themselves through kiosks and vending machines. Therefore, businesses have fewer salaries to pay and benefits to provide. In addition, because the system is automated, micro markets are also not as highly impacted by today's labor shortages.
Many of the duties related to micro markets are remote jobs such as supply chain management and financial management. However, even those tasks require minimal personnel as machines can track the inventory and manage the payments through automation processes.
Reports from Forbes show that 52 percent of workers feel burnout in their careers compared to 43 percent who were experiencing burnout before COVID-19. Burnout usually results from long hours, stressful job duties, or feeling unfulfilled in the workplace. It negatively affects workers' performance and can cause losses in a business because of decreased productivity or frequent callouts.
However, micro markets take many repetitive tasks from employees so those workers can focus on more vital jobs in the company—leaving the more mundane task to automation. This can improve overall employee job satisfaction rates.
The most common consumer complaints when shopping in brick-and-mortar stores revolve around long wait times and poor customer service. Some examples of complaints include:
Micro markets eliminate these issues by putting the customer in charge of their experience. They can view product information for themselves by having access to the products before purchasing. They are also responsible for checking out the items which reduces the number of misunderstandings. Additionally, micro markets have minimal lines and are designed around speedy service. Therefore, shoppers leave with a more positive experience.
Businesses see a high return on investment when using micro markets because they can reach a broader audience while having fewer costs associated with the setup. Most companies agree that micro markets are less of an investment than traditional vending machines. Additionally, companies can also charge more for the products they sell in a micro market—yielding a higher ROI. On average, micro markets receive 17 percent back in profits compared to 1.15 percent from vending machines.
A micro market can hold anywhere from 150 to 400 products which is much higher than a traditional vending machine with an average of 40 different products. Additionally, micro markets can hold more oversized items and products which is different than traditional vending machine offerings. For example, micro markets can have fresh coffee, large food items, fresh produce, full meals, apparel, and other products that wouldn't fit inside a small vending machine.
Because of the compact structure of micro markets, they can fit in a variety of locations. Micro market operators can also choose from different types of equipment to accommodate their desired space. In addition, these automated shops are available 24/7 or as long as the business they are operating within opens its doors. This is another contributing factor to a micro market's more significant ROI as it can run longer hours than traditional stores.
These flexible micro markets will broaden a business's customer base beyond those who traditionally visit free-standing stores. For example, micro markets can reach people in care facilities, schools, and workers in offices looking for healthy and convenient snacks and beverages.
In addition to more customers, micro markets can reach a different niche of current customers because of their broader selection. For example, vending machines cater to those who need quick snacks regardless of the nutritional factor. However, those that would prefer to eat healthy snacks now have a convenient location for purchasing fresh items. According to Forbes, 54 percent of consumers care more about healthy food choices today than they did ten years ago, making the health niche a valuable market.
Still not sure whether a micro market is the right choice for your business? Let Hubert's micro market experts answer your questions and provide detailed information about micro market installation. Talk to an expert.
Do you like what you just read? You can access our full micro market guide that includes even more information on the basics of micro markets, industry research, and more.
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