Stimulate Sales with Selection, Display & Rotation!

In a great blog series about the Four P’s of micro markets from 2016, Tim Sanford and Emily Jed so into great depth to describe and explain each of the P’s as presented by multiple operators at the ACE show in 2015.

The second P stands for Product. We’ll break down the details for you here:

Knowing as we do that micro markets demand a significant increase in products, it’s easy to understand why presenter, James Bourne, says “You need your distributors to understand [micro markets]. Thus, supplier management is an essential component of successful micro market operations.”

The definition of Supplier Managment is the various acts of identifying, acquiring and managing the products and/or resources needed to run your business. 

Current consumer demands and understanding what your specific customers want is imperative to your micro market success. We would suggest that you use and encourage the use of the suggestion button on Three Square Market kiosks.  If you are looking for great suggestions try adding an incentive for products information!

Prevalent Consumer Demands:

Healthier, alternative snacks: Ranging from baked and low-carb selections to gluten-free, organic or all-nature products.  Distributors continue to work to bring these products into the industry, but availability can be difficult to source based on region. Bourne suggests, “Operators can do their homework to compile market information that can persuade a distributor to stock desirable new items.”

Brands Matter: 61% consider their brand of choice to be an important attribute of a snack. 73% of consumers look for a favorite brand when choosing a snack.

Sales Surges: An IRI for calendar years 2011 to 2014

  • Candy 33%
  • Salty Snacks 32%
  • Pastry 16%
  • Meat Snacks 13%
  • Nuts & Seeds 9%

“Bourne emphasized that precise inventory control is essential in micro markets.  Each market should be inventoried at least monthly, and drivers should carry tablet computers with scanners for best, speed and accuracy. Each inventory visit should be followed by preparation of a ‘no scan items’ report, which helps to identify slow-moving items — 15% of market inventory. ‘Watch this,’ he warned. ‘Don’t let your market get sparse; they can’t look unattended.'”

Let us interject here because A) we totally agree and B) Three Square Market has made this process even easier! Check out our intelligent inventory management that will identify each of your products movement/pattern in each market. Also, learn how you can manage your inventory via a smartphone during market visits! 

Planograms are essential to micro markets.  The object being to apportion space to a  product category on the basis of its sales volume. Need a starting point? You can use vending sales as a good place to begin your market planogram and then expand to the added products you’d like to carry.

Bourne said, “Be sure to carry strong local and regional brands, as well as the national best-sellers. … Consumers will search for these products.”

Understanding Placement of Products: (more p’s)

Placement of products in display cases is important. Bourne says, “You should place your top sellers on the bottom shelves,” and goes on to say, “Place impulse, discontinued and high gross-profit items on the top shelves; and put new items at eye level, ideally in the ‘first’ position — closest to the door handle — because that’s where the customer looks first.”

Planograms should be refreshed at least quarterly.  Bourne tells us, “Our goal when we do this is to eliminate 10 to 15 items, and introduce 10 to 15 new ones.”  Updating promotions in accordance with the market refresh can boost sales and invite new market users.

Pre-kitting can not only make your market restock more efficient but also will free up enough time for your driver to check inventory, ensure cleanliness of the market, face market products, and maximize your market potential.

When dealing with portion sizes for your products, Bourne suggests looking at demographics, stating that “Males tend to want large sandwiches; women often want smaller ones … we try to provide something for everyone.”

Fresh Food Programs:

“Bourne emphasized that a good fresh-food program can be essential in realizing the full earnings potential of a micro market. ‘Fresh food represents 30% of overall sales,’ he reported.”

Fresh food in your micro market is shown to draw added customers to your market and can lead to the increased value of the average purchase.  Our writers add, “For best results, it’s important to rotate menu options, slot in seasonal and holiday-themed selections and feature regional favorites, when possible.”

Again, it’s important to understand that supply management of your fresh food is incredibly important and attention to detail in this area is required.

Micro market operators can make price changes in real-time. Bourne gives the example, “Anything that sells for $3 or more and has a sell-by date of today can be discounted to $1.99. You could offer 10% off all sandwich sales on Fridays.”

Another interject … try using our expiration management system to make sure you are staying on top of your expiring products so that you can make these price changes without missing the boat!

Bourne describes a food cooler and freezer layouts … We’ve made images to make it easier to show you!

cooler and Freezer layouts-01cooler and Freezer layouts-02

Destination Grouping:

“Bourne said, the operator should design a micro market installation with ‘destination zones’ in mind.  Thus, a ‘breakfast zone’ might position the coffee brewer in proximity to display containing pastry, and an ‘impulse zone’ near the checkout kiosk can feature gum and mint selections.”

Our writers suggest “for purposes of positioning and promotion, it can be useful to remember that the ‘dayparts’ of a typical micro market operation are breakfast, a morning snack (9-11 AM), lunch, an afternoon snack (2-4 PM), and dinner/ride home.

“Bourne concluded by pointing out that snacks, food, and beverages sold in convenience stores … not dissimilar to the one that patronizes micro markets. Both rely very largely on preportioned single-serving products, and he suggested that a solid starting-point for thinking about the expanded variety of items needed to keep a micro market interesting to patrons is to study the data on c-store performance and sales trends published by market research organizations.”

Bottomline:

Your product selection is a major part of your micro market success.  Be creative and flexible with your products and planogram, and always keep working on your markets!

 

Advertisements

Take me to the water …

Are you on point with the latest beverage trends?

Going from vending to micro markets allows for a significant upgrade in the variety of beverages that you offer, going from 8-10 beverages to upwards of 40+. According to Reuters, on March 10, 2017, “Americans are now drinking more bottled water than soda.”

FYI: 

Bottled-water consumption in the U.S. reached 39.3 gallons per capita while carbonated soft drinks slipped to 38.5 gallons.

Soda consumption regularly exceeded 50 gallons per capita in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Total bottled water volume rose about 9% to 12.8 billion gallons in 2016.

Stats by Beverage Marketing Corp

Coca-cola states, “Overall, more consumers are making trips for sparkling water, with 12.9% of all shoppers stopping to pick up sparkling water products.”

Bernicks, a Minnesota based vendor, blogged about the emerging markets in sparkling water saying, “Sparkling water offers several health benefits to those who tend to be more health conscious. First, it’s a great way to add more water to your diet – particularly for those who are good at drinking regular water but desire something else to supplement their hydration habit. Secondly, as it contains low or no calories, sparkling water is an excellent (and delicious) beverage alternative.”

Bernick’s blog goes on to give a few suggestions on what options you should consider offering to your customers, “Perrier and San Pellegrino are popular choices, and they are seen as two of the most popular premium brands of sparkling water. Of course, you’ll also want to consider flavored sparkling water options, such as Klarbrunn Sparkling which is also home to Vita Ice. Finally, if you’re simply looking for the most popular, please-all brand of sparkling water, consider Aquafina Sparkling, which has been the best-selling brand in the U.S. for over 30 years, and it’s also the number one canned brand worldwide.  And, did you know the bubbly super brand got its start at a small Wisconsin brewery? True story. ”

We completely agree! And would throw out there that Dasani boasts a nearly 90% consumer recognition and is another great option for flavored sparkling water.

Bottom-line: We think it would be a great benefit to your stores to add, update, and include some sparkling water options to your markets! 

BONUS: 

According to Coca-cola, “retail outlets have the opportunity to increase profitability and leverage the connections between food purchases and three on-trend beverage categories: sparkling water, ready-to-drink tea, and still water.”

Here is what Coke says about those three beverage categories and combined food to build cross-store connections (we’ve just put in items that make sense for micro-markets):

1. Sparkling Water Connections
Consumers are increasingly purchasing sparkling water with items tied to entertaining and snacking, specifically deli dip, specialty cheeses and value-added vegetables.¹

• Deli dip: Sales of deli dip increased 8.9% from the previous year.¹ Trips with both deli dips and sparkling water were up 25% over a year ago, and the average basket with both items was worth almost $114. (Think Hummus cups, salsa, veggie & dips)
• Specialty cheeses: Sales were up 7.5% from last year, with trips containing specialty cheese and sparkling water increasing 7% over the previous year.¹ When the two items are purchased together, the basket is worth nearly $121.¹ Utilize sparkling water to connect with premium, entertaining categories to further grow the connection between sparkling water and deli dip, and specialty cheese. Cross promotions can increase sales in both categories. (We’re thinking “adult” Lunchables, cheese and crackers, cheese sticks)

2. Ready-to-Drink Tea Connections 
The Nielsen study found strong sales and basket connections between RTD tea and every day, fresh ingredients, such as ground turkey, packaged salads, and deli cheese. In fact, 44% of tea buyers also buy deli cheese, and there is an 82% buyer overlap between RTD tea and packaged salad.

• Ground turkey: Since RTD tea and ground turkey buyers over-index as African American and Hispanic, leverage both the beverage/food connection as well as the appeal to key demographics.¹ Keep these consumers in mind when deciding on markets for co-promotion or meal deals. (Okay, so you probably don’t have ground turkey in your market but what about turkey based lunches or snack items? Those fancy Lunchables, or upscale deli sandwiches!)
• Packaged salad: Focus on increasing the frequency of trips that include both RTD tea and packaged salads by offering coupons with packaged salads or promoting them in circulars together. (We think this one is self-explanatory)
• Deli cheese: Merchandise tea near the deli with an emphasis on drinking tea with lunchtime sandwiches. Focus on cheese flavors that appeal to RTD tea’s key demographics, older families, and Hispanic households. (Deli sandwiches and your healthy meal options)

3. Still Water Connections
As still (or base) water gains in popularity, the Nielsen study revealed opportunities for retailers to leverage sales and basket connections with traditional staples that are occasion-focused. Consumers in this category are in the mid- to a high-income range and have bustling families with children of all ages.

• Deli items: There is a strong sales connection between still water and quick trip and alternative channel options.¹ However, this category had a weak basket connection with still water (as opposed to meat, which had both high sales and high basket connections). The opportunity for retailers is to show the value of your category on different trips and/or in different channels. For example, display base water in the deli department to encourage quick trip purchases together with deli pizza, or cross-promote base water and other deli-prepared items together as a quick, easy family meal deal.  (Water, its essential for life)

 

Landing that appointment to grow your business …

As a micro market operator,  you know the best thing for your business is to grow your number of location. Sometimes that is easier said than done.

Here are some tips: 

We know you’re looking for a qualified business that will make your service profitable. During your introductory phone call, you can gather some of the important details you need to zero in on your target locations, such as staff size, current vending or market situation, office coffee situation, etc.

Although the world is moving towards texting, messages, and email communication, by creating a personal relationship with your target location and making on-site visits you can build a rapport and trust with the business that will help you in your sales pitch. You should always seek to sell in person vs. over the phone.

Want to land the appointment? Ask engaging questions that will help you to understand what the client currently has, and what messages you can tailor to win the account.

During your initial call, you can ask these questions:

What is your current vending situation? 

  • This will prompt your prospect to talk about how many machines they have and what’s in those machines.

Tell me about the kinds of items you have in your vending machines now? 

  • If they are using traditional products at this time, this gives you a great conversation starter about the wide variety of foods and products that can be incorporated into a micro market. Think “Fresh Food, higher quality products all at no cost to the company.”

Do you have employees that work late or overnight shifts? 

  • Off-shift workers are extremely limited in their food options and will benefit immensely from the update to quality, fresh, & meal options of a micro market.

Do you have a calendar in front of you? 

  • This is a great way to almost guarantee an appointment to talk about the benefits of a micro market in person.

 

Micro market benefits to talk about: 

  1. Multiple payment options (credit/debit cards, cash, payroll, mobile).
  2. Expanded product selection including fresh, quality foods, health & wellness, electronics & personal needs items. 
  3. Self-checkout that allows employees to pick up and look at products prior to purchase. 
  4. Easy to use, more attractive than vending, lower energy footprint, and often fits in the existing vending space.

 

If you are reading this you know that the benefits of micro markets are becoming well-known and ever-expanding within our industry.  You can increase your chances of successfully landing an account by being the first in the door with your market solution.

What are you waiting for?

 

We got a lot of this great information from MarketReach! Check out their article here to learn more: http://bit.ly/1aQdOnd

 

 

 

 

 

 

Market Sales to the MAX!

New to micro markets?  Have you been incorporating them for years?  Micro markets have been growing steadily for years and gaining in popularity.  Markets offer operators the ability to increase their revenues by 4x’s their previous vending earnings.  For extremely diligent operators we’ve seen as much as 10x’s their previous revenues and here is how:

1. Give the customers what they want!

Micro markets are meant to be fresh! And we don’t mean just fresh food options, although those are an important part! Fresh … micro markets need to be changed, adjusted, updated and renewed all the time!

Use Three Square Market’s intelligent inventory management to know when products have come to the end of their lifecycle and it’s time to move in new, exciting products!

2. Promotional Sales and Loyalty

Promotions, loyalty, rewards, coupons! There is a reason mega stores like Targets and Walmarts introduce programs to increase their customer’s involvement with their stores … it’s because it creates the relationship between a person and your business! In a social media heavy world – customers what to feel connected to your store!

Using Three Square Market’s loyalty/rewards/coupon system will develop personal relationships with your clients and which will encourage them to become a loyal customer of your market!

3. Using the system to its MAX.

Like anything, the best things in this world take some work. We want you to be successful so we’ve developed the 32M University. We strongly suggest that no matter where you are in your micro market world that you take our 32M University course to ensure that you know the in’s and out’s of the system.

There are SO many amazing features within our system and we want you to USE them! Build your success by building your knowledge! Talk to your salesperson or our customer service staff today to learn more!!!

Customer Service: 715.386.2233

Or follow our YouTube!

What Coffee Brewer is right for you?

Half-full? Half-empty? These options will help your cup ‘runneth over’! 

giphy-downsized

There are a lot of options on the market for micro market operators, and it’s easy to pick based on just one piece of information … BUT don’t get trapped by picking the lowest cost or the highest retail price point! Just because something is the lowest price often times doesn’t mean it’s the best value.  Let’s take a look!

See our Comparison Chart Here: http://bit.ly/2yT76wW

  1. Your standard cup brewer (Any single-serve machine)
    The positives: low-cost investment, low maintenance, popular products.
    The negatives: This brewer is the same as many household single-serve brewers. Low originality can lose you a large percentage of sales, short life-span, a high cost of product = low-profit margins.
    Where do we recommend?: We recommend using these machines as a trial coffee solution or in very small office settings. 
  2.  The medium level coffee brewer (Our favorite is Newco)
    The positives: medium-cost investment, very low cost of products, high-quality output, and the highest profit margins. 
    The negatives: increased maintenance and the cost of entry can be daunting for a first timer.
    Where do we recommend using it?: We recommend using these in medium to large markets, and even small markets with high coffee consumption. These are the top-rated employer-paid OCS solution coffee makers as chosen by your peers! Overall, this is a great machine for any market setting!
  3. The high-level coffee brewer (We use Bravilor Bonamat, straight from our European operators to you!)
    The positive: Quality, quality quality.
    The negatives: High cost of entry, involved maintenance.
    Where do we recommend using it?: We recommend this option anywhere you have discerning coffee drinkers. It’s great for both medium and large markets and can definitely keep up with volume output. You can schedule maintenance alerts and the machine does a lot of the work for you. This coffee maker has top-notch quality coffee and specialty coffee products. If you’re competing with local coffee houses, this is the way to go! You can price your products under the expensive chains but still, make a great profit margin!

Bottom-line: There are a lot of great options and any one of them might be right for you. Make sure you think about your clients, your locations, your business owner, the long-term, and your schedule before you make the choice that is right for you. AND if you need help … we’re here for you! 

Need to know more?
Want to chat with our staff? 
Want to get started right away?

KurkDaveCurt

 

A One-Stop-Shop

We are here for you … for everything you need for a micro market! Here are a few things that we offer, that you may not know about!

Products for your store! 

We have an entire section of our online store dedicated to “Stocking Your Store!” This category is filled with market worthy options that are proven in many existing 32Market stores.  Products like these can provide you a huge profit and your clients that items they’ve been looking for! Check these options out!

Equipment!

It’s true you can get equipment anywhere … but from 32M we not only have great prices but time tested products that we promise you will love!

Security and Internet!

That’s right, you can pick up these market essentials from our store rather than searching everywhere else. And bonus, we’ve tested them all and know that our options are the best product for you and come with great customer service! (OptConnect and Night Owl  – we’re looking at you!)

1830

Who can forget, Bundles!

Okay, we talk about this A LOT, but seriously, it’s the best price you’ll find anywhere to get your market started …. or add a second location to your already busy market in a large office.

Get your ENTIRE market for just:

Find a better price … we dare you. 🙂

Bottom line, we’re here for you … from the very beginning we put our customers first and always aim to have the best value and best products for our operators. Give it a shot and take a look at our web store: 32MarketStore.com

Plus, our amazing sales people are always just a phone call away …

staff_starttoday

The Age Old Question: what IS a micro market?

In researching for this blog, I’ve read a lot of opinions on what a micro market is … and reality is, they are right. A micro market IS what you need it to be.

You see, the very best part of a micro market is its flexibility. Micro markets were developed as an alternative to vending, and unlike their rigid counterpart, micro market’s are flexible, customizable, creative, changing, individual, etc.

Definition: “A micro market is a small, self-contained store in a location without an employee to monitor it. It’s comprised of freestanding storage, such as shelves, that hold a product and a checkout system available nearby. This means that there is no machine that vends the product, but the system is autonomous like a vending machine.”

Yes, it is all of that. However, this definition doesn’t really describe what a micro market truly stands for, what its purpose is?

A micro market is freedom, to choose any product that works for your set of clients in a specific location.

A micro market is beneficial,  to a business by creating an atmosphere for increased performance and productivity in their employees.

A micro market is opportunity, to employees who struggle to find appropriate options on their limited time during the work day.  Opportunity for an operator to grow their business by providing better options to their clients.

A micro market is advancement, depending on your technology an operator’s micro market system will help them advance their product selection, par levels, and maximize their profit through automation.

A micro market is innovation, sure some locations are happy with vending for now. But as workers change so will their needs and wants. The next generation grew up with and expects the latest innovations and technology.

So let’s really break it down …

For an operator, a micro market is the opportunity to: increase their revenue, utilize advanced payment and reporting technology, automate ordering and par levels, & grow their number of serviced locations. 

 

For a business, a micro market is a beautiful addition to their location that not only improves employee morale, productivity, and access to healthy foods throughout the day but is an added bonus for employees that can be used in recruiting and retaining efforts.

For a market user, a micro market is the chance to find products they actually want throughout the day without having to leave their location, and the ability to use the payment avenue that works best for them. 

 

A micro market IS … what you need it to be. 

 

Interested in micro markets? For your business? As an operator? Want to sell your boss on the idea? Fill out this form and we will get a hold of you!