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!

 

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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)

 

What is the major draw of a micro market & do you measure up? …

Let’s think about what brings your customers to your micro market! Often thinking about your market experience from your customers’ perspective can be your best spent time.

Why do customers use a micro market? 

  • Items not found in vending machines. (variety)
  • Fresh, healthy options that you don’t have to leave your workplace for. (convenience)
  • Access to hot food versus cold food. (quality)
  • Rewards and coupons. (bonus features)
  • It’s a nicer environment, more attractive look and experience. (aesthetics)

Knowing that Variety, Convenience, Quality, Bonuses, and Aesthetics are factors that your customers are looking for … how does your market measure up? 

How can you update your market in these important areas?:

Variety: 

Are you reviewing your product selection? Looking at products that are moving or not moving? Are you replacing products that have worn out their welcome?

Using Three Square Market’s exclusive intelligent inventory system you can easily see what products are popular, mediocre, and past their prime for each individual store.  This allows you to easily customize your product selection in each individual market to maximize your sales per market without the need for a lot of extra work. Here’s where you can learn more!

Convenience: 

Beyond having the products your customers what and need for a quick and convenient lunch … Do you have ALL the products that make your customers’ lives easier? Have you thought about the items that might save someone a trip to the store?

In today’s society time is money and saving someone time is worth a little extra spending cash.  Think about electronics or health and beauty items a person may need throughout the day, or take home meals for the family that eliminate that stop at the grocery store.  Maximize the ways that your market creates convenience for your customers and gain their loyalty in return!

Quality:

Micro market products are often priced higher than traditional vending products. Typically approximately 15 to 20 percent higher to cover the cost of credit card processing, sales tax, and product loss.  Millennials make up the majority of the workforce these days and according to Nestle, “[Millennials] are the first generation now who are willing consciously to spend more for better quality [products], for sustainability, for traceability.”

If the average fast-food lunch for an employee is $6 you can assume that your customers are willing to spend up to $6 on quality lunch items in your market if it meets the convenience, variety, and appeal of a fast-food.

Bonuses:

Every retailer out there is using coupons, rewards, loyalty, bundled options to increase transaction values.  Consumers love opportunities to save and increase the value of their purchase! The key is to look at perceived value and create specials and deals that make sense for your consumer. Salad or sandwich purchase gives you a discount on your beverage purchase … where is the downfall?!

Using coupons, rewards, bundles to increase your average transaction value is a great way to 1) increase revenue and 2) decrease the chance of product spoilage.

Aesthetics:

According to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Consumers rate [micro markets] off the charts in nearly every category. Employees love it because it’s just a nicer environment. It’s like going to a bistro or a restaurant.”

The aesthetics of your market is an important factor. Employees are looking for something special that gives them the feel of leaving the office without actually having to do so. Investing in the space beyond just your products and checkout is important.

Making the space comfortable, attractive, and inviting can only add to a quick return on your investment. You can even work with the company to pay for these upgrades or split the costs – touting the perks to a company with a micro market with happier, healthier, more productive employees. Bottom line is investing in your market can only make your market more attractive to your customers yielding increased sales and profit for you.

For starters, you can go to 32MarketStore.com to see how you can show off your products in the most attractive way possible with 32Fixtures!

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changing your store based on holidays …

If we’ve said it once, we will say it again …

Your micro market inventory should never be static! Let’s think about the benefits of a micro market vs. a vending machine:

  • Virtually no restrictions on product size
  • No restriction on type of product
  • Increase product space
  • Easy to update, change, move, and fill products

Did you know that 70.6% of Americans hand out candy and are spending approximately $25 each to do so!

Stat via https://www.thebalance.com/halloween-spending-statistics-facts-and-trends-3305716

As a micro market operator you have a captive audience at hand, why not become a part of the estimated $9.1 billion dollars that will be spent on Halloween this year? By updating your product selection and adding seasonal items … such as Halloween Candy … you can increase your market traffic significantly!

Shoppers like to see frequent small changes to their frequented locations.  By changing up your market you can increase your client’s product knowledge and interests!

Using Three Square Market’s predictive inventory management system, you as a market owner can understand what your high, medium and low performing products are.  We encourage our operators to utilize all aspects of our system including rewards, loyalty, and coupons, predictive inventory management, mobile applications, and more!

Happy Halloween!

Rise To Success

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RISE To Success | That is our mission. But what exactly does it mean?

Everyone is faced with challenges at one point or another. How we react defines how successful we will be. When met with challenges, our team rises to the occasion. Instead of faltering, we deliver relentless innovation, service, and execution to overcome them. When given opportunities, we finish them. Everyone on our team plays a part in our success. Every single one of us rises up daily and hits challenges to our success like a freight train!

And why? It’s what we love. We want our clients to be successful because it’s amazing to see that what we do here impacts you out there in a positive way. We want our team to be successful because, quite honestly, it’s fun! Success is not an end game. We will continue to rise to greater successes. And it is our mission to help you do the same.

 

32M Microchips Employees Company-Wide

Three Square Market will become the first U.S. company to provide implanted microchip technology to their employees.
Chip Implant to be used by 32M
Chip Implant to be used by 32M

RIVER FALLS, Wis. – July 20, 2017 – PRLog — Three Square Market (32M) is offering implanted chip technology to all of their employees on August 1st, 2017. Employees will be implanted with a RFID chip allowing them to make purchases in their break room micro market, open doors, login to computers, use the copy machine, etc.  This program, offered by 32M, is optional for all employees. The company is expecting over 50 staff members to be voluntarily chipped.  32M is partnering with BioHax International and Jowan Osterland, CEO, based out of Sweden.

RFID technology or Radio-Frequency Identification uses electromagnetic fields to identify electronically stored information. Often referred to as “chip” technology, this option has become very popular in the European marketplace. The chip implant uses near-field communications (NFC); the same technology used in contactless credit cards and mobile payments. A chip is implanted between the thumb and forefinger underneath the skin within seconds.

A micro market, also known as a break room market, has become a staple in the U.S. with over 20,000 locations and growing.  While in existence for over a decade in the American workplace, the international community began to embrace this only a few years ago.  A micro market is a mini convenience store located right in the employee break room using a self-checkout kiosk, similar to what is found at many major retailers.  Businesses see multiple benefits when adding a micro market to their location, such as increased employee morale and productivity. 32M entered this growing industry over four years ago and is rapidly growing in market share and believes this technology will help it continue this trajectory.

“We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals.  Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc.” commented 32M CEO, Todd Westby.

“When working with our operators over in Europe, we came across a company of chipped employees at BioHax International and the concept of using RFID with micro markets quickly grew,” commented 32M VP of International Sales, Tony Danna.  “We see chip technology as the next evolution in payment systems, much like micro markets have steadily replaced vending machines. As a leader in micro market technology, it is important that 32M continues leading the way with advancements such as chip implants” added Mr. Westby.

“The international market place is wide-open and we believe that the future trajectory of total market share is going to be driven by who captures this arena first,” said 32M COO Patrick McMullan.  “Europe is far more advanced in mobile and chip technology usage than the U.S. and we are thrilled with the growth opportunity this enhancement will bring to us.  Thanks to our market partners in Sweden, we met this innovative company and look forward to working with them to take our market share to another level.”

32M is envisioning this technology to help it grow its other self-checkout businesses.  “We see this as another payment and identification option that not only can be used in our markets but our other self-checkout / self-service applications that we are now deploying which include convenience stores and fitness centers,” added Mr. McMullan.

Employees will be chipped at the 32M inaugural “chip party” hosted at their headquarters in River Falls, WI on August 1, 2017.

32M based in River Falls, WI, is considered a leader in micro market technology.  With its’ patented technology and industry-leading smart phone application and inventory intelligence, 32M has grown to over 2,000 kiosks in operation in nearly 20 different countries plus it operates over 6,000 kiosks in its’ corrections industry business, TurnKey Corrections. For more information on 32M visit http://www.32Market.com or http://www.BreakRoomRehab.com or follow them on Twitter, @32Market, on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn by typing in 32Market.

BioHax International is a company based in Sweden on the forefront of implanted chip technology. Osterland was recently a guest speaker on the TED Talks. Visit http://www.BioHaxSweden.com for additional information.

32M is inviting the press to attended and partake in the event on August 1st, 2017 at 11 AM CST in River Falls, WI for more information please contact 32M directly.